On the deposition of Turchetel, who was a great and powerful lord,
in the reign of the Confessor, King William I. granted it with many
other towns of that lord, to Hermerus de Ferrers. Before the conquest
there were three carucates of land held by 7 villains, &c. 15 bordarers,
8 servi, 40 acres of meadow, and one of wood. Three carucates in
demean, a fishery, 5 beasts or horses for work, 26 breeding mares, 7
cows, &c. 240 sheep, &c. two skeps of bees, &c. and there belonged
to this lordship, and soc, 5 free men, with all customary dues; there
were also 17 freemen belonging to the lord's fold and protection, who
had 24 acres, but the abbot of Ramsey, and Hermerus, at the survey,
had the soc of them. All this was valued then at 8l. and there was a
church endowed with 53 acres of land, valued at 3s.
Hermerus had also invaded, or seized on, in Stow, 34 acres of land,
held in king Edward's time, by a freeman, and one carucate; and on
40 acres held by 4 freemen: the said freeman held in all 2 carucates,
and the preceding lord (before Hermerus) had only the protection of
them, and a moiety of the soc, with the abbot of Ramsey; this was
valued at 20s.
The villages of Wimbotsham and Stow, were one leuca long, and
half a leuca broad, and paid 16d. gelt to the King, when the hundred
paid 20s. (fn. 1)
After Hermerus, William de Wirmegay, Reginald de Warren, and
the Lords Bardolf, were lords of this town, which was a part of the
barony of Wirmegay, as may be there seen at large.
William Lord Bardolf had a charter of free warren, granted him in
this town, an. 38 of Henry III. then called Le Estow, and an. 42; but
Dugdale says, an. 28, the grant of an annual fair on the day, and morrow after the feast of the Holy Trinity. In the 3d of Edward I. the
lord was found to have the assise of bread and beer, and the lete of his
tenants. In this family, Barons of Wirmegay, (fn. 2) this lordship continued
till the attainder of Thomas, Lord Bardolf, in the reign of Henry IV.
who granted it an. 9, to Thomas Beaufort, his brother, afterwards
Duke of Exeter, who possessed it in the 5th of Henry VI. and had a
ferry here, the bridge not being then erected. Sir William Phelips
was the next lord, and was succeeded by the Lords Viscounts Beaumont. William Lord Beaumont dying, sans issue, it eschaeted to the
Crown, and Sir William Arundel Lord Matrevers, with the Lady Anne,
his wife, obtained a grant of it on June 5, an. 8 of Henry VIII. but by
a fine levied an. 3 and 4 of Philip and Mary, was conveyed to the
Crown, by Henry Earl of Arundel, and on the 2d of January, in the
said year, granted to Sir Nicholas Hare, Knt. and John Hare, Esq.
excepting two marshes or fens in this town, called Bardolf's fen, and
Piers Dole, or Le Fence, they being granted December 22, in the said
year, to Edmund Beaupre, Esq. rented at 4l. 3s. 4d. per ann. and were
parcels of this manor.
This family of Hare derive their pedigree from Jervis Earl of Harcourt, in France, who came into England with the Conqueror, and
bore gules, two bars, or.—Sir John Hare, his son, married Anne,
daughter of Eustace Crew Baron of De Monte Alto, (Monthaut:) he
is said to have had a grant to bear, as an augmentation to his arms, the
chief indented, or, and his Lady's arms were, azure, a lion rampant,
argent. The other branch of Jervis Earl of Harcourt's family, from
which the Harcourts, formerly Barons of Wingham, and the Lord
Viscount Harcourt of Stanton Harcourt, in Oxfordshire, are descended,
bear it, as Earl Jervis.
Sir John Hare, son of Sir John, married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir
John de Ashton, who bore argent, a mullet, sable, and was father of
William Hare, Esq. who, by Ann, daughter of Sir Thomas Mydelton
of Lancashire, who bore argent, a cross engrailed, sable, was father of
John Hare, Esq. who by Agnes, his wife, daughter of Sir John Shirley
of Wiston, in Sussex, (who bore paly of six, or and azure, a canton,
ermine,) had Sir Thomas Hare. Nicholas was his son, by Julian,
daughter of Hussey, who bore barry of six, ermine and gules.
Nicholas married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas de Walsingham,
whose arms were paly of six, argent and sable, a fess over all gules;
Richard was his son and heir, by Elizabeth, daughter of John Seckford of Suffolk, who bore ermine, on a fess, gules, three escallops, or,
and was father of John Hare, Esq. who by Jane, daughter of - - - - Nevill, whose arms were gules, on a saltire, argent, a mullet, sable,
had Thomas Hare, Esq.; he married Joyce, daughter of John Hyde of
Northburgh, who bore azure, a chevron between three lozenges, or;
his son John, by Catherine, daughter of Richard de Anderson, had
Nicholas Hare, Esq. of Homersfield in Suffolk, and by Margaret his
wife, had John Hare, Esq. and Thomas Hare, L. L. D. chancellor of
Norwich, rector of Massingham Magna, &c.
John married Elizabeth, daughter of — Fortescue, Esq. and
had Nicholas Hare, (fn. 3) and John Hare, a mercer of London; Sir Nicholas was Speaker of the House of Commons, an. 31 Henry VIII.
master of the rolls, and on the accession of Queen Mary to the Crown,
lord keeper of the great seal; by Catherine, his wife, daughter and
coheir of John Bassingborn, Esq. of Woodhall in Hertfordshire, was
father of Michael Hare, Esq. his son and heir, who took to wife,
Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Hobart, Esq. of Hales Hall in Norfolk,
and afterwards Mary, daughter of Sir John Brudenel of dean in Northamptonshire, and died sans issue, on the 30th of October, an. 4 and 5
of Philip and Mary.
Robert Hare, Esq. 2d son, was clerk of the Pells, some time a
member of Cajus college, in Cambridge. About 1587, at the request
and exhortation of Dr. Capcot, master of Corpus Christi college, and
vice-chancellor, he collected in three large volumes, the chancellors
and privileges of the University of Cambridge, and a fourth volume,
containing the privileges of the town of Cambridge, compiled by him
with great labour and expense, and presented by him to the University, to be carefully preserved in their publick chest, with a copy
thereof for the use of the Vice-chancellor, and another for the Register, and afterwards conferred the like favour upon Oxford, to
which University he bore no relation, and died sans issue, November 2,
The eldest branch, of this family being thus extinct, we return to
John Hare, citizen and mercer of London, brother to Sir Nicholas,
who by Dorothy his wife, had 8 sons; Nicholas, Ralph, Richard,
Rowland, Edmund, Hugh, Thomas, and John.
Nicholas, the eldest, was a bencher of the Inner Temple, and in
1589 built Stow-Hall, the manor-house, at the expense of 40,000l.
also a spacious dormitory adjoining to the chancel of Stow church,
for depositing the remains of himself and family, and died in 1591,
s. p. leaving his estate to his brother Ralph, who also died s. p. in
1601, and was succeeded by Richard, who married Elizabeth, daughter of John Barnes; she remarried to George Rotheram, Esq. and,
after to Sir George Perient, and died December 2, 1655, aged 90,
having two sons, by Richard her first husband, Ralph and Richard.
Rowland, 4th son of John Hare, and Edmund the 5th son, died s. p.
— Hugh, the 6th son, was a bencher of the Inner Temple, and master
of the court of wards, and dying s. p. left, by his will, dated December 25, 1619, above 99,400l. to be equally divided between his two
nephews, John Hare, grandson of his brother Richard, and Hugh
Hare, son of his brother John, &c. which John married first, Lucy,
daughter of — Barlow, Esq. and to his 2nd wife Margaret,
daughter of John Crouch, Esq. and by her left two sons Nicholas and
Hugh; Nicholas, died s. p. and Hugh was created, August 3, 1625,
Lord Colerain in Ireland, from whom, by Lucy his wife, daughter of
the Lord Montague, descended the Lords Colerain, and the Hares of
Docking in Norfolk.
Ralph Hare, Esq. eldest son of Richard, son of John Hare, Esq.
abovementioned, was created Knigth of the Bath, at the coronation of
King James I. and married to his first wife, Mary, daughter of Sir Edward
Holmden, alderman of London, by whom he had a son, John; his
second wife was Anne, daughter of John Crouch of Cornbury in
Hertfordshire, Esq. by whom he had no issue; she survived him and
remarried Edmund Lord Montague of Boughton. Sir Ralph was remarkable for his extensive charity to the poor; in 1603, he erected
six alms-houses at Stow, for 6 poor persons born in the parish, or had
resided there for 10 years, and endowed them with lands for ever. In
his lifetime he gave by deed to St. John's college in Cambridge, dated
April 30, 1623, the rectory and glebe lands of the impropriate rectory
of Marham in Norfolk, with the advowson of the vicarage, to be employed in erecting a library, and after in exhibitions for 30 poor scholars in that college, for ever; and dying in August 1623, was succeeded by his only son, John Hare, who was knighted in his father's
lifetime, December 4, 1617, at Newmarket; he married Elizabeth,
only daughter of Thomas Lord Coventry, lord keeper of the great seal,
by whom he had 5 sons and 7 daughters, Ralph, the eldest, John of
Bromsthorp in Norfolk, Nicholas of Harpham, &c.
Ralph, the eldest son, was created baronet July 23, 1641: by Elizabeth his wife, daughter and coheir of Sir Robert Crane, Bart. of
Chilton in Suffolk, was father of Sir Thomas Hare, his successour; his
2d wife was Vere, sister to Horatio Lord Viscount Townsend, and his
3d was Elizabeth, daughter of —Chapman, Esq.; he was knight of
the shire, in parliament, burgess for Lynn, and died in 1671.
Sir Thomas Hare, Bart. his son and heir, married Elizabeth sister
of Sir Robert Dashwod, Bart. of Northbrook in Oxfordshire, by whom
he had 4 sons, Sir Ralph, Sir Thomas, and Sir George, and Richard,
who died young; also 6 daughters; Elizabeth, married to Sir Thomas
Robinson, Baronet, and Mary to Thomas Leich of London, Turkey
merchant; the others died single; Sir Thomas was knight of the shire
in parliament, and died in 1693.
Sir Ralph, the eldest son, by Susan his wife, daughter and coheir
of Walter Norborne, (fn. 4) of Calne in Wiltshire, had no issue, and dying in
1732, was succeeded by his brother, Sir Thomas, (fn. 5) who married Rosamond, daughter of Charles Newby, of Hooton-Roberts, in Yorkshire,
Esq. by whom he had 2 daughters and coheirs, Elizabeth, married to
the Reverend Mr. Moor, and Mary, to Thomas Harris, Esq. of Finchly
in Middlesex; he died in 1759, and Sir George Hare, Bart. his
brother and successour, died unmarried.
Here is a stately manor-house with agreeable gardens, and a park
There is a bridge about 2 miles from the town, over the river Ouse,
near to this is a fair kept every year, on Saturday before Trinity Sunday, and is considerable for the sale of horses, cows, &c. and in the
fens is a good decoy belonging to the lord. I find that the new podike
in the fens was made an. 1 Henry VI. in the lands of the Duke of
Exeter, then lord of Stow.
The tenths of this town and of Wimbotsham, were 7l. 12s. Deducted
The Church of Stow Bardolph is dedicated to the Holy Trinity,
and consists of a nave and a chancel, and a broad, but low, foursquare tower built of carr and rag stone, with buttresses of brick, in
which hang five large tuneable bells. (fn. 6) The nave is in length about 47
feet and in breadth about 24; the roof is arched or camerated, plaistered, and covered with reed; at the west end is a neat stone font, with a
cover of oak carved and painted, on which is this shield, (Plate I. Fig.
21.) In several places, gules, two bars and a chief indented, or,
Hare; and this date, 1625; on the summit is a pelican vulned.
On the pavement here, lies an old stone, with a shield worn out,
and an inscription scarce legible,
Here under lieth Thomas Cobb - - - - - second son of Mr. Martin
Cobb of Snettesham - - - - who died the 30 Novr. 1582.
On a grave-stone adjoining, this shield, (Plate 1. Fig. 22.) - - - a
chevron between three bunches of grapes:
Here lys buried underneath this stone,
A willing friend to all, a foe to none,
A steward, true and faithfull, husband kind,
A father tender, one of right Christian mind,
His days consum'd with labour, care and pain,
His body rests in hopes to rise again.
Samuel Renault, steward to the Honourable Sir Ralph Hare, the
father, and to Sir Thomas Hare the son, Baronets, lys here interr'd, who
departed this life the 19 day of August, 1678.
On another stone adjoining,
Here lyeth the body of Mr. John West, who was 20 years steward to
the Honourable Sir Ralph Hare, Baronet, who departed this life the
26 day of March, 1727, aged 62 years.
For many years he bore the trust consign'd,
Nor lost the credit of an honest mind,
This is true wisdom, this the way to live,
For nobler treasures, than the world can give;
When burnish'd gold is turn'd to common dust,
And all the shining mammon's lost in rust,
Happy the man, that's well prepared to go
Where inexhausted mines of truer riches flow.
At the west end of the church is a large gallery, supported by 6
wooden pillars of the Ionick order. The nave is separated from the
chancel by an handsome wooden screen; on the cornice are the arms
of Hare, and on the summit in the centre of the screen, the King's
arms, well carved and painted, fronting the nave; towards the chancel, a rose and crown, with the capital letters C. R. The chancel is
in length about 30 feet, and in breadth about 16; it is camerated,
plaistered, and covered with tile. The altar is railed in, and has an
ascent of three steps of free-stone, with which the whole altarspace
is paved, except the passage as you enter leading to it, which is of
oak finiered: the altar is of Derbyshire gray marble, with a slab of
the same, and was part of the old altar monument of Sir Ralph Hare,
Knight of the Bath, which was taken down on the erecting that of
Sir Thomas Hare, Bart. On the body of it are two ovals; in one, a
dove is painted; in the other I. H. S. Over the altar in two pannels,
are the 10 Commandments, over that the tremendous name of God
in Hebrew, with a glory, and cherubims about it; and on each side of
this a pannel; in one is the Lord's Prayer, in the other is the Creed
with cherubims over them, and the walls on the north and south sides
within the rails, are neatly wainscotted and painted. The whole
altarpiece is ornamented with four columns of the Dorick order, fluted,
painted blue, and veined with gold, supporting an entablature of the
In the east window of the chancel there was lately this shield;
(Plate I. Fig. 23.) argent, three mullets in bend, sable, between two
bendlets, gules, impaling argent, a cross ingrailed between four crescents, sable, and a lis, or, for difference; Pigot impaling Bernham.
Margaret Pigot was prioress of Carhow, and that convent held the
This window being new glazed when the altarpiece was erected,
these arms are now lost. Against the north wall of this chancel, were
lately several banners, before the beautifying of it, with the arms of
Hare, (Plate I. Fig. 24.) and (girony of twelve, or, and azure) Bessingbourne, quarterly.
On a stone fixed in the north wall,
Margaret, the wife of Walter Drury, vicar of this parish, died December 19, 1681, aged 22 years.
On the north side of this chancel is a chapel, or burial-place for the
family of Hare, built of brick, embattled with copings of free-stone,
in length about 36 feet, and 16 in breadth, covered with lead; at the
west end are the arms of Hare with the crest, a demy lion, and these
letters, I. H. M. L. Anno Domini 1624. On a little white marble
stone on the pavement at the west end, is Hare impaling, party per
chevron, argent and gules, a crescent counterchanged, (Plate I. Fig.
25.) Chapman. John Posthumus Hare, son to the Honourable Sir
Ralph Hare, and Elizabeth his wife, 1672.—On a grave-stone, with
the arms of Hare, this round the verge,
Here lyeth the body of the Honourable Sir Ralph Hare, Baronet,
he departed this life the last of February, 1671.
Although his body is turn'd to dust,
His soul lives ever with the just.
At the foot of this, another, with the arms of Hare and Chapman
impaled, and round the verge,
Elizabeth the last wife of Sir Ralph Hare, Baronet, liv'd his widow
above 13 years, dy'd March 17, 1683, and lyeth here at his feet, in hopes
with him of a joyful resurrection, The trump shall sound, and the dead
shall be raised.
Against the south wall is a neat altar monument of veined marble,
with a gray marble slab, on which stand two veined pillars of the Corinthian order, with their capitals gilt with gold, supporting an entablature of the same and gilt, on which is the shield of Hare, between
two pyramids of marble, and on the wall a piece of marble ornamented
with foliages, festoons, death's heads, and hour-glasses, gilt with gold,
this epitaph in letters of gold:
In Obitum præstantissimi viri Radulphi Hare Armigeri.
Octo fere novies (si demas quatuor) annos
Exegi vitæ, hinc morti succumbo mihiq;
Natalis Juli, fatalis June fuisti
Cura fuit patriæ prodesse, fovere quietem,
Tutari insontes, pacis defendere causam,
Legibus addici, moderatis moribus uti,
Corpore parvus eram, sed me vicinia dixit,
Corpore pygmæum, benefactis esse gigantem.
Nepos Radulpho, hæres Radulphus, mortuo posuit, amato
Patruo et tanquam patri.
On the north side, on a white marble stone, and veined, lies the
statue of Sir Thomas Hare, Bart. in full proportion, cumbent on his
right side, in the habit of a Roman, his arm resting on a cushion of
alabaster, and is a curious and just piece of statuary; on it are the
arms of Hare, with the distinction as a baronet, and a cherub on each
In memory of Sir Thomas Hare, Baronet, who departed this life the
1st day of January, 1693, aged 35 years, and left a lady and four sons
and five daughters.
The glorious sun which sets at night,
Appears next morning clear and bright,
The gawdy deckings of the earth,
Do ev'ry spring receive new birth,
But life when fled, has no return,
In vain we sigh, in vain we mourn,
Yet does the turtle justly grieve her fate,
When she is left behind without her mate,
Not less does she, who rais'd this tomb,
And wishes here to have a room,
With that dear He, who underneath doth lye,
Who was the treasure of her heart, the pleasure of her eye.
Near to this is a mural monument of white marble, on the summit
the arms of Hare; on the base a cherub gilt with gold, and on a black
marble in the centre in letters of gold,
Memoriœ Sacrum Hugonis Hare, Armigi. interioris templi socii,
qui Johannem Hare, milit. filium Radulphi Hare, Mil. Balnei, filiu.
Richardi Hare, fratris ejusdem Hugonis et Hugone. filium Johan. Hare,
armig'ri, alterius fratris ipsius Hugonis amplissimarum fucultatum hœredes scripsit, obit. calen. Feb. 4to. 1619.
Death, time and foul oblivion doth deface,
The goodliest things, that now the world doth grace,
Death ends our glory, time makes death forgot,
Oblivion all devours, as they were not.
Adjoining is a white marble monument with two pillars of the same,
veined, of the Corinthian order, their capitals gilt, and supporting an
entablature of the same, whereon is the shield of Hare, and on each
side a pyramid of marble, and on a wall-piece of black marble, in
letters of gold,
Vir bonus et sapiens observantissimus æqui
Tam patriæ qua' pacis amans, et amatus ab illis
Pauperibus natus, desolatisq; juvandis,
Defensor juris, libertatisq; suorum
Strenuus assertor, quid plura recenseo? Vitæ,
Undecies senios fermè implens cælibis annos,
Excessit vitâ, pulchroq; in margine templi,
Quem modo condebat, Nicholaus conditur Harus.
Fratri Radulphus frater, hæres mortuo, amans, amato posuit impensis suis.
The Church was a rectory endowed with 53 acres of land at the
survey, and was given by Reginald de Warren, 2d son of William, the
2d Earl Warren, and Alice his wife, to the priory of Carhow: she
was daughter and heir of William de Wirmegay, lord of Wirmegay:
William Turbe Bishop of Norwich appropriated it. William de Warren, son of Reginald, confirmed it, and gave, with Muriel, his sister,
on being veiled a nun here, 40 acres of land and a messuage, which
he held in capite.
1300, Nicholas de Plumstede, presented by the convent of Carhow. (fn. 7)
1309, John de Bernyngham, presented by the convent, &c.
1329, Nicholas de Knapeton, presented ut suprà.
1343, William de Merkeshale.
1391, John Large, presented ut suprà. First fruits then 4 marks.
1411, Richard Sweyn of Leveryngton, presented ut suprà, called
late vicar, in the 16th of Henry VI.
1497, Henry Boothby, on the death of the last vicar, presented, &c.
1498, John Cowell, on the resignation of Boothby, presented by
Katherine, prioress, &c. of Carhow.
1509, Gilbert Bachecroft, on the death of Cowell, presented by the
1531, Thomas Levyngs, by the prioress, &c. of Carhow.
On the dissolution of religious-houses, King Henry VIII. by letters
patent, dated 2d of November, in the 30th year of his reign, granted
to Sir John Shelton, Knt. of Shelton in Norfolk, this rectory and the
advowson of the vicarage, and on the 26th of September in the 1st of
Edward VI. Sir John alienated it to John Hare of London, mercer.
1561, George Longe, A. M. on the death of Dunning, presented by
John Hare, citizen of London. Presbyter conjugatus, doctus, residet,
hospitalis, ibidem, prœdicat, licentiatus, duo. (fn. 8) He was also rector of
1577, John Weston, A. M. on the death of Long, by Nicholas Hare,
Esq. rector also of Wimbotsham.
1582, John Thompson, on the death of Weston, by Nicholas Hare,
Esq. rector also of Wimbotsham: here were in 1603, 241 communicants.
1606, Robert Bate, A. M. on the death of Thompson, by Sir Ralph
1607, William Ray, on the resignation of the last vicar, by Sir
Ralph Hare, rector also of Wimbotsham and rector of Watlington.
1616, John Sherwin, A. M. by Sir Ralph Hare, on the death of the
last vicar; rector of Oxburgh, Igburgh, and Beacham-Well St. John;
see in those places.
Thomas Raworth, A. M. rector afterwards of Barton St. Andrew.
1625, Edward Bentley, A. M. on the resignation of Raworth.
1633, Thomas Martin, on the resignation of Bentley, presented by
Sir John Hare.
1644, John Collin, by Thomas Lord Coventry, (on the resignation
of Martin,) as trustee for Roger Hare.
1661, John Bastard, A. M. on the resignation of Jermy, by Sir
Ralph Hare, Bart.
1667, Edmund Parletl, by Sir Ralph Hare.
1674, Walter Drury, A. M. on the death of Parlet, presented by
Lord Townsend, John Corrance, Thomas Savage, senior, Edward Barber and Robert Wright, Esq. as trustees for Sir Thomas Hare, a minor;
rector also of Wimbotsham.
1722, Charles Lake, on the death of Drury, by Sir Ralph Hare,
1764, Rev. Mr. Thomas Moor, vicar and patron.
This vicarage is valued in the King's Books at 6l. 6s. 8d. clear value
24l. per ann. and so is discharged of first fruits and tenths.
The spiritualities of the prioress, &c. of Carhow, here, were valued
in 1428, at 12 marks.—Their temporalities, &c. at 20s.—Peterpence 11d.
In 1622, Sir Ralph Hare, Knight of the Bath, gave lands in Wygenhale, called John's Load, and Walsingsham's Dole, to Thomas Fanshaw, Esq. &c. feoffees, &c. the profits to be for ever bestowed so as six
poor inhabitants dwelling in Stow, in the alms-houses built by him,
may have one shilling weekly given to each of them, every Sunday, in
the parish church of Stow immediately after morning service; the overplus of the said profits (if there be any) to be bestowed in garments
for the poor yearly, at the feast of the nativity of our Blessed Lord.
In this town, somewhat south of the church, and near to the high
road, stands an ancient pile of flint and brick, &c. pointing east and
west, and has been a chapel or hermitage; it is called at this day the
Pool-house, and is now converted to a little farm-house belonging to
Sir Thomas Hare: here seems to have been a gild belonging to it in
1467, called the gild of St. Botulph of Stow chapel, (fn. 9) and perhaps the
chapel was dedicated to St. Botulph.