Was a beruite belonging to the great lordship of Snetesham in this
neighbourhood, held by Stigand Archbishop of Canterbury, in the time
of King Edward, who being in arms against the Conqueror, was deprived not only of his see of Canterbury, but of all his lay fees and
inheritance, of which this was one; and was given by King William,
to Odo Bishop of Bayeux in Normandy, half brother to the said King,
who held it when the Book of Domesday was made in 1085.
It then consisted of 3 carucates of land, held by 12 villains and 38
borderers, 3 servi, and 14 acres of meadow, 2 carucates in demean, and
2 amongst the tenants, and 7 socmen had 24 acres of land, to whom
there always belonged one carucate; there were 3 mills, 12 salt pits, (fn. 1)
or salt works, and a fishery, and 3 socmen held 60 acres of land, with
one carucate, and one socman, 60 acres and one carucate, and 26
borderers, one carucate and 8 acres of meadow, one mill, and one
salt pit. (fn. 2)
Odo Bishop of Bayeux, and also Earl of Kent, being in arms against
King William II. in the beginning of his reign, in behalf of Robert
Duke of Normandy, the Conqueror's eldest son, who laid claim to the
crown of England, was deprived of this manor and all his other estates
in England, and this was given by the said King to William d'Albini,
styled Pincerna Regis, the King's butler, ancestor to the Earls of Sussex and Arundel, of that name. He was son of Roger de Albini, a
Norman, by Amicia de Mowbray his wife, and married Maud, daughter of Roger Bigod, ancestor of the Earls of Norfolk, (fn. 3) with whom he
had 10 knights fees in Norfolk. William was his son and heir.
In the battle of Tinchebrai, fought September 27, 1106, between
Henry I. King of England, and his brother, Robert Duke of Nor
mandy, a French historian (fn. 4) takes notice that one William D'Aubigny,
Knt. of the county of Dol, distinguished himself much, and makes
him to be the ancestor of the Earls of Sussex and Arundel.
This probably was the William above mentioned, son of William,
the Pincerna, who was created by King Henry I. Earl of Sussex, remarkably famous for his gallant actions, and married Adeliza, the
dowager Queen of King Henry I. daughter of Godfrey Duke of Lorain; by whom he had William, his son and heir, who sealed, as his
father did, with gules, a lion rampant, or.
Agatha de Trussbut wife of William de Albiney, lord of Rising, and
Earl of Arundel, paid King John at Lynn, October 11, Ao. 18, 100
marks of silver for his freedom, being a prisoner for rebellion.
In this family this lordship continued till the death of Hugh de Albiney on the 7th of May, 1243, in the 27th year of Henry III. who leaving
no issue by Isabel his wife, daughter of William Earl Warren and Surry,
his four sisters and coheirs divided his large inheritance between them.
About that time the lady Isabel, relict of Earl Hugh, had an assignation of dower in these knights fees, held chiefly, if not wholly, of the
honour of Arundel and Sussex; (fn. 5) viz. three knights fees held by John
de Bulmer in Wotton; two held by Thomas de Grimston; two by Hugh
de Verley;—half a fee by Hubert Hacun;—the fourth part of a fee
by Thomas de Ingaldesthorp; three fees by Henry de Shelton; two by
Giles de Wachesham; three, and a fourth part, by William de Brom;
one by William Rusteng; one by Ralph de Ho: half a fee by Thomas
de Hengham; six by Henry Tregoz; two by John le Fleming; three
by William Aguillon; one by William de Dive; one by Peter de Hotot, and half a one by Walter de Cherlcot. And in the 28th of the said
reign, she gave a fine to the King that she might marry to whom she
thought proper, or pleased; and for a relief of lands late Joan de Beauchamp's, as one of her heirs.
This Earl Hugh gave to King Henry III. in his 18th year, a fine of
2050 marks, to have seizen of the King's term of his inheritance till his
full age, for all the castles and manors whereof his brother died possessed, and of all the Earl of Chester's and Lincoln's inheritance, his
uncle; which was in the King's hands, by reason of his nonage, reserving to the King the presentations to all the churches till his full
On his death he left four sisters and coheirs; Mabel, who married
Robert Lord Tateshall; Isabel, married John Lord Fitz-Alan; Nicholaa, married Sir Roger Somery; and Cecily, William Lord Montalt.
This township, with the castle, and the fourth part of the Tolbothe
at Lynn, &c. was assigned to Roger de Monte-Alto, Lord of Montalt,
or Mohaut, who married Cecily, fourth daughter of William Earl of
Sussex, and sister and coheir to Earl Hugh, who made it his chief seat
and place of residence. In the 29th of the said reign, the heirs of
Hugh Earl of Sussex, accounted for 76l. for 76 knight's fees, on the
aid for marrying the King's eldest daughter: this Roger gave to the
King three palfreys to have a partition of the late Earl's estates; and
in the 38th of the said King, had a grant of a fair in this town, and a
charter for a free-warren here. (fn. 6)
Roger (called Robert, by Dugdale) Lord Montalt died in the 44th
of Henry III. and left John, his son and heir, who married first, Allen,
widow of Robert de Stockport, and secondly Millecentia, daughter of
William de Cantilupo, and coheiress with her sister, lady Joan Hastings, mother of John de Hastings,) to her brother, George de Catelupo;
she was relict of Eudo le Zouch, lord of Harringworth, in Northamptonshire, by whom she had William le Zouch, her heir, but had no issue
by John Lord Montalt; she appears to be his widow in the 13th of
Edward I. and died in the 27th of the said King. (fn. 7)
I find upon record Cecilia de Monthalt, relict of Roger, was in the
King's hands in the 52d of Henry III. who claimed the power of giving her in marriage, she holding in fee 60l. per ann. (fn. 8)
Robert Lord Montalt succeeded his brother John, about the 52d of
the aforesaid King, and Richard Hawardyn held of him one fee here,
and in that year, the King's bailiff was not permitted to enter into this
village, the lord having the return of all writs.
On his death in the 3d of Edward I. he was found to have held it
in capite, to have a chase, free-warren, assise of bread and beer, the
lete, wreck at sea, and other royalties; (fn. 9) and the heirs of William de
Milliers held of him here and in Wymondham, &c. one fee and the
fourth part of a fee.
He was succeeded by Roger, his son and heir, by Isabel his wife,
who married Julian, daughter of Roger Clifford, and was impleaded
on account of the rights of his chase, in the 18th of Edward I. by
William Rusteng, lord of Congham, a dog of his tenant having his
claws cut off by this lord's servants. He dying in the 25th of the said
King, aged 27, without issue, was succeeded by his brother, Robert
Lord Montalt, who was the eighteenth lord of parliament, who sealed the
famous letter sent to the Pope, in the 29th year of Edward I. denying
the kingdom of Scotland to be of his fee, or that he had any jurisdiction in temporal affairs, dated at Lincoln, February 12, 1301.
In the 1st of Edward II. he was summoned, amongst other nobles,
to attend the King's coronation, to be solemnized the Sunday next
after the feast of St. Valentine, by writ dated at Dover, January 8.
In the 12th of the said King, the charter of wreck at sea, in all his
lands in this county was confirmed to him.—Snetsham, Hecham, Hunstanton, Thornham, Tichwell, &c. are particularly mentioned.
William de Albini Earl of Sussex having one in the time of Henry
III. through the whole hundreds of Freebridge and Smithden.
In the 18th of the said King, on September 30, the King sent a precept to this Lord, and Thomas Lord Bardolph, to inform them of Mortimer's approach, and to be careful of the country hereabouts.
This Robert appears to have inherited large possessions, as heir to
his brother: he paid to King Edward I. for relief on his entrance on
them 25l. for the 4th part of the earldom of Arundel.—6l. 5s. for the
4th part of the earldom of Chester.—12l. 10s. for two fees and an half
held of the King in capite in Cheshire.—10l. for the manor of Kenynghale, in Norfolk, the manors of Wymondham and Bukenhum held of
the King by being his butler; also he held the manors of Hawerden
and Boseley in Cheshire of the King in capite, by the service of being
steward to the Earls of Chester, and placing the first dish on the table
of the said Earl, at Chester, on the nativity of our Lord and Saviour;
the manors of Leston and La Lee, the moiety of Wrichholm in Cheshire, of the King, by the service of two fees and an half, and to find
a judge to sit every six weeks at Chester to try causes.
This Robert, and Emma his wife, conveyed by fine to Henry de
Cliff, clerk, the castle and manor of Montalt in Wales, the castle and
manors of Hawardyn and Neston in Cheshire, the stewardship of
Chester, the manor of Boseley in the said county, the manors of
Walton on Trent, Dere and Cheylesmore in Warwickshire, 107l. yearly
rent from the priory of Coventry, with the homage and service of the
prior, the castle of Rysing, the manors of Rysing, Snetesham, and
Kenynghale; the fourth part of the Tolbothe of Lenne in Norfolk;
Cassingland and Framesden in Suffolk, with all their rights, privileges
and appertenances thereunto belonging; which the said Henry reconveyed to the said Robert and Emma, and their heirs male, lawfully
begotten; remainder to Isabella, Dowager Queen of England, for
life, then to John of Eltham, second son of King Edward II. Earl of
Cornwall, and his heirs; with a remainder to King Edward III. and
his heirs, by a deed dated at Nottingham, May 8th, in the first year of
King Edward III. witnesses, John Bishop of Ely, the King's chancellor, Sir William de Herle, Roger de Bylney, Roger de Watevill,
Nicholas de Gonevill, and John Walewyn, Knts.; for this settlement
the King paid to the lord Montalt 10,000 marks.
This Robert Lord Montalt died on Tuesday next after the feast of
the nativity of our Lord, in the year 1329, in the 3d of Edward III.
without issue, and was buried in the priory of Shouldham in Norfolk,
being the last heir male of that family, who took their name from a
hill, in Flintshire, in Wales, where they anciently resided, and had a
The first upon record was Norman, one of the barons of Hugh Earl
Ralph, his brother, had a son Robert, who was steward, and one of
the barons of the Earl of Chester, and grandfather of Roger, who married Cecily, sister and coheir of Hugh Earl of Arundel.
The lady Emma, his widow, by deed dated at London, December 3,
in the 5th of the aforesaid King, surrendered up all the aforementioned
castles, manors, &c. with all her rights in London, (for 400l. per ann.
annuity,) to the Queen Dowager; to this deed is a round seal about
the bigness of a shilling, with 2 shields; one being quarterly, with a
bordure, the arms (as I take it) of her first husband, (fn. 10) the other, azure,
a lion rampant, argent, the arms of her second, and,
S. EMME DE MONTE ALTO.
Soon after this, she died, and was buried in the body of the church
of Stradgeset, in Norfolk, a large gravestone of black marble lying over
her, at this day. Whose daughter she was, does not appear; she was
probably a daughter of De Stradsete, a family of great antiquity, lords
At her death, the Queen Dowager Isabell took possession of this
lordship and castle, &c. and Sir Robert de Morley, (cousin and heir to
Robert; the last Lord Montalt,) son of William de Morley of Morley, and
the lady - - - - - -, sister to the said Lord Robert, by his deed dated at
Swanton Morley, in Norfolk, May 2, in the 8th year of King Edward
III. released and confirmed the settlement aforesaid, made by his uncle, &c. on the said Queen, with all his rights to the lands of his uncle
in Leicestershire, Warwickshire, and Oxfordshire; he sealed with argent, a lion rampant, sable, crowned or, circumscribed,
SIGILLUM RO'BTI DE MORLEY.
King Edward III. in his eleventh year, October 1, settled the reversion of this manor and castle on his eldest son, Edward, after the death
of his mother; John of Eltham, Earl of Cornwall, (his brother,) being
dead, and leaving no issue, on whom it was before settled.
In the 20th of the said King, John Armurer de Rysing, Robert
Berners, and John Cook, were found to hold the fourth part of a fee
here, of Queen Isabell, which Richard de Bulmer formerly held.
This Queen had her residence here the greatest part of her widowhood, after the execution of her great favourite Mortimer Earl of March.
Grafton tells us, that the King, by the advice of his council, committed his mother (as prisoner) to be kept close in a castle, (but does
not name it,) where she remained during her life: her commitment
was in King Edward's 4th year, 1330.
In the 14th year of his reign, the King and his Queen were at this
castle, paying a visit to his mother, and made some stay here, as appears by the account rolls of Adam de Reffham and John de Newland
of Lenn, by Risinge, and sending a present of wine to him.
In August 1340, (14th of Edward III.) Queen Isabel sent her precept from this castle to John de Cokesford, mayor of Lenne, to send
her eight carpenters to make several preparations therein.
In his 18th year, the King, on the 3d of August, was lodged here,
as appears from several letters dated from this place, (fn. 11) and sent to William Bishop of Norwich, at Avignon, to be presented to the Pope.
On April 4, in 1357, (the 31st of Edward III.) a safe conduct was
granted to William de Leith, a Scotchman, to wait on her here, (fn. 12) and in
the next year following, (1358,) she died at this castle, on August 22,
and was brought from hence about the end of November following;
on the 20th of which month the King directed, by letter, the sheriffs
of London and Middlesex to cleanse the streets of London, called Bishop's-gate and Aldgate, from dirt and dung, against the coming of
the body of his mother; and directs by another, (dated December 1,
following,) the treasurer and Barons of the Exchequer to allow 9l.
which the sheriffs had expended for that purpose: she was buried in
the midst of the choir of the Gray-friars church in London, and had a
tomb of alabaster erected to her memory.
It may be here observed that Mortimer, her great favourite, was here
buried, as Stow in his Annals, p. 350, quarto.
On the death of Queen Isabel, this lordship (and honour, as it is
called) descended to her grandson, Edward Prince of Wales, and was
valued, as appears from an account of his revenue, at 90l. per ann. and
on the death of this prince, to his son Richard, soon after King of
England, by the name of Richard II.
On Monday after the feast of the decollation of St. John Baptist,
in the 2d year of this King Richard II. an inquisition was taken before
Thomas Gissing, Richard Withermersel and Simon de Fincham, assigned to make a true value of the castle and manor of Rysing, with
its appertenances, by the oaths of honest and lawful men, viz. Edward
Warren, William Sefull, John de Teversham, John Salmon, William
Lambrith, Sim. de Hall, John Boteler, John Pinchto, Richard Florys,
John Sekelow, John Drye, John Seman and Roger Bately; who say
upon their oaths, that the lord's fields, pastures, and marsh lands appertaining to the said manor, are let to John Salmon, to farm for the
term of 7 years, giving 40 marks per ann. with the part of the Talbothe at Lynn, belonging thereto, and is let to Jeffrey de Talbothe,
paying 40 marks per ann. to the King; that 5 mills belonging to the
manor, are worth, above all reprises, 10l. per ann. that the perquisites
of the courts, view of frankpledge of Rysing, North Wooton, and Ridon,
belonging to the said manor are worth 10l. per ann. that the rents of
assises belonging to the said manor are worth 20l. per ann. that the
sale of conies in the warren of the said manor, are worth 20 marks per
ann. that the sale of wood is worth 10 marks per ann. without any waste
or destruction to be made. That there is a certain dovecoat worth
6s. 8d. per ann. that there is a certain watermill in the marsh of the
said manor worth 20s. per ann. that there is a certain water called
Brodes, worth 5s. per ann. that the toll of Rysing is worth 40s. per ann.
that there is one meadow, called Wardele meadow, worth 12d. per ann.
and several parcels of land let to several men worth 9s. 2d. per ann.
and certain water, called Wigenhall, which Edward Noun holds for
life by the grant of Edward, late Prince of Wales, worth 8 marks per
ann. that John Kadeneys holds certain lands and tenements in Rysinge,
Ridon, and Wootton, for term of life, by grant of the said prince,
worth 2l. 10s. per ann. also there were certain knights fees belonging
to the castle and manor, viz. Roger Colvill, Knt. holds in Carelton,
and Petoughe one fee,—Thomas de Latymer Clynal holds in Gissingland one fee,—Robert de Brokenhul, holds in the same town the 10th
part of a fee,—Emma Wylot holds in Framesden the seventh part of a
fee,—Ralph Holyday in the same town, the fifth part of a fee,—John
Winston holds in the same town the seventh part of a fee,—John de
Inglose holds three knight fees and an half in Loddon and Stratton,—
Richard, son of Osbert, the 6th part of a fee in Besthorp,—William
de Rokingham, in Elingham, the fourth part of a fee,—Thomas de
Hengham, in Baconsthorn, half a fee,—John L'Strange, Knt. in Hunstanton, Totington, Ringsted, and Holm, five knights fees,—William
de Milliers, in Wymondham and Rysinge one fee,—Emma de Warren,
in Wooton, three fees, Roger de Scales, in Middleton, half a fee; and
they say that the advowson of the church, &c. of Rysinge, and South
Wooton belongs to the said castle and manor.
In the aforesaid second year of his reign, the King granted to John
Montfort, sirnamed the Valiant, Duke of Britain and Earl of Richmond, and to Joan his wife, called by the King, in his grant, his sister,
in exchange for the castle of Brest in Britany.
Of this Joan, a query arises: Godfrey, in his History of King Charles
VII. of France, says that he married to his second wife, a daughter of
Edward the Black Prince, father of King Richard II. but as none of
our genealogists have mentioned this, he must be mistaken. Philip
L'Abbe, in his Tableaux Genealogiques, observes that the second
wife of the aforesaid John, was Joan, daughter of Thomas Holland,
Earl of Kent, by Joan his wife, called the Fair Maid of Kent, daughter of Edmund Plantaginet Earl of Kent; and afterwards married to
Edward the Black Prince, and so was (as he words it) "Soeur
Uterine de Richd. le II. Roy d' Angleterre," that is, sister by her
mother, to Richard II.
On Montfort's defection from the crown, of England, (and deposition from all titles of honour in England, by act of parliament, in
the 14th of the said King) it was seized into the King's hands, who
in the said year gave it to Thomas de Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester,
sixth son to King Edward III. who being murdered at Calais, in the
21st year of King Richard, Edmund de Langley Duke of York 5th
son to King Edward III. obtained a grant of it, (fn. 13) with the manors of
Beeston, and Mileham, &c. in Norfolk, and died possessed of it in the
4th of King Henry IV. when it descended to his eldest son, Edward
Duke of York; who being slain in the famous battle of Agincourt, in
France, in the 3d of Henry V. it came to his brother, Richard de
Conningsbergh Earl of Cambridge, who being beheaded in the said
year, it fell to the Crown, where it remained till the 36th of Henry
VIII. when an act of parliament passed, ratifying an exchange between the King, Thomas Howard Duke of Norfolk, and Henry his son
Earl of Arundel and Surry; they giving to the King the manors of
Walton, Trimley, Falkenham, with the rectories of Walton and Felixton, in Suffolk, for the castle manor, and chase of Rysing, and all its
appertenances, with the manors of Thorpe, Gaywood, South Walsham,
Halvergate and Ditchingham in Norfolk, Doningworth, Cratfield,
Hoo, Staverton, and Bromswell, in Suffolk, to be held of the King in
capite, by the 30th part of a knight's fee and the rent of 26l. per ann.
payable at St. Michael into the court of augmentations. Henry, the
son, Earl of Arundel, &c. being attainted in his father's life time, the
Duke enjoyed this manor, &c. till his death in the 1st and 2d of
Philip and Mary, when an act of parliament passed for the restoring
of the son of the attainted Earl.
In the accounts of Sir John Arundel, Knt. receiver of the dutchy
of Cornwall, in the reign of Henry the Eighth, (as I take it) he
had allowances for 40s. per ann. paid to Sir Henry Marny, Knt. as
steward of this lordship; 13l. 8s. as constable of the castle: 4l. 11s.
3d. as ranger of the chase, and for two under foresters, called walkers, 53s. 4d. per ann. at this time Sir Thomas Lovel, Knight of the
Garter, was farmer of the demeans and the warren.
On the attainder of Thomas Duke of Norfolk, in the 15th of Elizabeth, it came again to the Crown, and she granted it to Edward Earl
of Oxford, with the demeans of Gaywood; but this grant was soon revoked, and it was granted to Henry Howard Earl of Northampton,
brother to the Duke of Norfolk, attainted; who held it to his death in
1616, and having no issue it descended to Thomas Howard Earl of
Arundel, his heir; which Thomas was grandson to Thomas Duke of
Norfolk, aforesaid, and brother to the Earl of Northampton; and in
this family it remained till it was was bought by Thomas Howard,
Esq. (one of the tellers of the Exchequer, son and heir of Sir Robert
Howard, Knt. auditor of the Exchequer, sixth son to Thomas
Howard Earl of Berkshire) of Henry Duke of Norfolk in 1693.
After this it came to the Earl of Berkshire, as heir to the aforesaid
Thomas Howard, Esq. the Earl of Berkshire dying s. p. it descended to
the Earl of Suffolk, the present lord.
The Duke of Norfolk has the title of Lord Howard, of CastleRysing; Henry Howard of Castle-Rysing, heir of the said family,
being so created by letters patents, March 27, in the 21st of King
Two members of parliament are chosen by the free burghers, their
representatives, therein. (fn. 14)
The town takes its name from its site, (Rye is the name of a river
in Yorkshire, &c. and of a borough town in Sussex) by a river, on a
hill, which affords a fine prospect, overlooking a large arm of the sea,
and from Ing, a meadow, or marshy ground.
Sir Henry Spelman, (who lived at Congham, in the neighbourhood
of it) says it has been a famous port, but being stopped up with sands,
was the cause of its great decay.
The said author observes that it is a burgh of such antiquity that
the royal archives and records give no account of it; the site of it
such, that he thinks the Romans had a place of defence here, some
of their coin being found here, and a Constantine being brought to
That the sea had formerly its course near to, and came up probably
to the town, appears in some measure from its being drowned in
winter, frequently, on spring tides, the salt water overflowing the
banks between this town and Babingley, and from the name of a
street, that comes up to this town from the low ground, called by the
inhabitants at this day, Haven-Gate Lane, which is very ousy, and
in this lane there was some years past, in digging, taken up a piece
of an anchor belonging to some ship.
In the 31st of Elizabeth, on the 1st of August, a survey of this
lordship was made by Sir Nicholas Bacon, Knt. John Hill, Esq. one
of the auditors of the Exchequer, Robert Buxton, Esq. and Robert
Shephard, Gent. commissioners appointed by that Queen, to survey
this manor, part of the lands of Philip Earl of Arundel, attainted and
convicted; who on the oaths of Henry Mordant, Gent. Thomas Winde,
Gent. Thomas Spratt, Gent. Joseph Wright, Gent. and 15 others, present an affirm, that the town of Castle Rysing is an ancient burgh,
and hath in it a mayor and burgesses; and many ancient privileges,
franchises and liberties have been granted to Hugh de Albini, Earl of
Sussex and Arundel, some time lord of the manor, which privileges
have been heretofore found by divers inquisitions, viz.
First, it is granted to this said Earl and his heirs, his stewards and
tenants from this time, to be quit and free of panage, tallage, passage,
payage, lastage, stallage, portage, pesage and terrage, through the parts
of England; also that they shall have a mayor, that by them shall be
chosen, and be presented to the Earls and his steward.
They shall sell, or give their burgages to whom they will, without
If a burgess die, the next heir shall enter into burgage without any
The lord shall not have the custody or the heir of a burgager, but
his kin, or next cousin by the mother's side.
Their heyres shall marry themselves, wheresoever they like.
If seizure of a burgage be made, it shall be by the bayleifs, and
keepers of the market.
They shall take for their debtes, in the town of Rysing and without, as far as the warren stretches.
They shall distrain no burgess within his burgage.
If actions, or strife shall happen between burgess and burgess, in
the town, or without, the mayor shall have them attached, shall set
them a day until the Monday next, and before him shall their tales
be told and brought,
If their tales happen not to be appeals of felony, or of a deadly
wound, or such other as longeth to the Crown.
Also full amercement in court the burgesse that is guilty, and hath
trespassed shall make to the mayor, and that shall he present to the
steward, or lord's bayleif, and they shall do therein their wills.
If the lord will have any burgess in his service, he shall find him
They shall not serve to the hundred, or shire, they shall not be put
They shall not be distressed by bayleys of the hundred.
They shall not be accused at the view of frank-pledge for answer,
but he that trespasses for that pledge shall make amends.
If the son of a burgess shall enter into frank-pledge, that is to say,
the lete, he shall not pay, and he shall have free entry into the common pastures of the town.
The burgesses have grant of a fair, or free mart, from the feast of
St. Matthew, during 15 days, and two markets in the week, Monday
They shall give no custom in the market of Rysinge, of their corn,
that comes out of their barns, or any other thing that they buy to
their proper use in the said market, and they shall do no suit.
If any burgesse be a merchant, and put any thing to the market of
Rysinge to sell, he shall give half custom, except bakers, who shall
give whole custom to the lord.
Also they shall give no custom, or usage, in the havens of the lord
in the marsh. (fn. 15)
If any burgess be summoned before the lord, or his steward, his
summons shall be made by the mayor, and by none other.
If the lord make his eldest son a knight, or his eldest daughter be
married, then the burgesses shall give him reasonable help, else not.
The servants of the lord shall not take the geese, capons, or fish,
or flesh, meat or drink, at their wills, without leave, of the burgesses,
and without their consent.
Also they shall have all their measures the same as in Norwich.
That the warren hath been by the space of 2 or 3 years past greatly surcharged, the warrener being covenanted to leave for his view,
3800 coneys; he has killed the last year, 17000, and may kill for
this year as many or more, his number for view being treble reserved,
and by this the castle stock of 600 weathers is utterly overthrown, and
the inhabitants and tenants of the towns adjoyning, injured, which
will be an occasion of impairing her majestie's rent, and the undoing
of the inhabitants, &c. and that by the increase of these conies by
the warrenner, and their breeding in the castle ditches and banks, the
same are decayed, and the walls are already in part, and the rest in
danger of overthrowing, that the said banks and ditches are no parcel
of the warren, and that the constablery of the castle is no part of
the warren of Rysing, and that the burgh, and the closes belonging,
&c. are also no part of the warren.
By this presentment it appears that Hugh de Albini Earl of Arundel
and Sussex had a charter for many royal privileges and liberties, with
that of a mayor, in this lordship, and this must be in some year between
1233, (the Earl being then a minor) and 1242, in which year he died,
I have seen an old copy, or transcript of a charter, beginning thus.
=== Rex, (the name is omitted (fn. 16) ) archiepiscopis, episcopis, abbatib;
priorib; ducibus, comitib; baromb; militib; justic. vicecom. major. corstabular. ballivis, p'positis universis et omnib; fidelib;suis, &c. sciatis qd.
nos de gratia nostra speciali, et ex certa scientia, et mero nost. concessimus
et confirmavimus, et p. p'sentes concedimus, &c. p. nobis hered. et successornostris quantum in nobis est majori et burgensib; burgi nostri de Rysinge,
in com. Norff. et success. suis et ballivo nostro, Dominij Nostri de Rysinge. &c. et tenentib; (fn. 17) et inhabitantib; ejusdem Dominij, &c. omnes libertates, franchias, leges et consuetudines suas quas ipsi, predecessores, et
antecessores, sui, &c. tempore nostro aut progenitor. nostror. habuerunt,
&c. et ulterius de uberiore gratia nostrá dedimus, et p.p'sentes concedimus
&c. eidem majori et burgensib; &c.
The conclusion also of this charter is wanting, but as there are
several privileges in this, not mentioned in the presentment above, I
shall here insert them, viz.
The return of all writs.
A gaol in the said borough for felons and offenders in its liberties,
to be kept by whom the mayor and burgesses shall depute, till delivered to be tried at Norwich, by the King's judges.
Cognizance of all pleas, as well real as personal, in the liberties of
the said burgh.
A pye-powder court.
Not to be impleaded in any other court or assise, on account of any
tenement, lands, or debts, whilst living in the said burgh.
The mayor to be coroner in the said burgh and its liberty, and to
take an oath on his admission before the lord's bayliff, also to be clerk
of the market.
To have a tumbrell, pillory, assise of bread and beer, wine, and all
victuals, &c. scrutiny of all weights, measures, with the punishment
of delinquents against the statutes therein.
The burgesses, &c. through the whole kingdom, as well by land, as
by water; as well in London as without, may buy and sell of and to
foreigners, and natives, all manner of merchandise, &c. without
hindrance, and as the citizens of London do.
No merchant, or any other person, shall hinder or oppose any
merchants, or others coming to this burgh by land, or by water, with
victuals, or any other things to be sold, or to buy, before they shall
arrive here, under the penalty of - - - - -
It is here observable, that there was a mayor and burgesses at the
time of this grant. The oldest mayor that I have met with is John
Armourer, in the 17th year of King Edward III. Ao. 1343.
John Ward chose mayor, Ao. 21. Edward III.
This decayed and superannuated burgh has a mayor, (but no aldermen, at this time,) who is chosen annually, the day before St. Michael
by the free burghers, or voters, who were about 60 or 70 in number,
in 1716, but he is not sworn into his office till the court lete, which
is held about All-Saints day, and has a mace carried before him to
church on Sundays by a serjeant, and on other public occasions.
The mayor is obliged to take an oath at the court lete, before he
enters on his office, to be administered to him by the steward of the
manor, which the new elect in 1662, refused, and had a fine of 40l.
set upon him then in December, at the lete, by the steward, for not
In a petition to the lord of this manor, (Henry Howard, Esq.) in
the said year, signed by Robert Buthoer, mayor, and 24 free burghers,
and inhabitants, is this request;
"We do most humbly desire of your honour to be pleased to hold
a court lete yearly, presently after the feast of St. Michael, that the
new elect may then be sworn, and have some reasonable allowance
for the time of his office, sufficient to countervail the loss of his time,
not heretofore considered."
There was formerly a burgh court kept, as appears from a large table
of fees kept by the mayor, to which there belonged a steward and a
jury of 12; which is now laid aside, as is an old custom and punishment of the clog and shackle. No market is now kept, but a mean
pedling fair on May 1, said to have been anciently for 15 days.
The seal of the corporation, or mayor, is a castle.
By what has been observed, it appears that the publishers of Britannia Ant. et Nova, in 6 vols. are mistaken in saying that there is a
market kept here, 12 aldermen, that the Molbrays were ancient lords
of it, &c.
The castle of Rysing was built after the grant of the town and lordship by King William II. to William de Albini, that King's pincerna,
or butler, and probably by his son, William, the first Earl of Sussex,
who died in 1176; it stands upon a hill, on the south side of the town,
from whence is a fine prospect over land, and an arm of the sea.
Great part of the walls of the keep, or inward tower, are still standing,
being a Gothick pile, much resembling that of Norwich, and little inferior the walls being about 3 yards thick, consisting chiefly of freestone, with iron, or car stone, encompassed with a great circular ditch,
and bank of earth, on which stood also a strong stone wall, as appears
from the presentment above mentioned in the 31st of Elizabeth, when
the wall on the said bank is said to be in part, and the rest in danger
of being, overthrown by the warrenner's conies. This ditch, now dry,
was probably, formerly filled with water; there is but one entrance to
it, on the east-side, over a strong stone bridge, about 30 paces long,
(with a gate-house thereon,) about 8 or 9 paces broad, and is supported
by one arch. The inward part of the castle, or keep, is all in ruins,
except one room, where the court lete of this lordship is held; no
doubt the apartments here were grand and sumptuous, when Queen
Isabel here resided, and when the great King Edward III. with his
Queen and court, were often entertained, and lodged here. (fn. 18)
On the walls, which are decaying, (having no cover,) were towers,
or turrets, which the lords of the manors of Hunstanton, Reydon, and
the Wottons, were by their tenures obliged to guard and defend. The
compass of the ditch that incloses the whole is above 1080 paces.
It had the privilege of prisæ, that is, of taking provision in the neighbouring villages, for the maintenance of the garrison, paying for it
within 40 days.
Mr. Millecent has a print of the ruins of it, and Mr. Buck has one,
dedicated to the Lady Viscountess Andover.
It seems to have been by its site a place of strength and consequence. In the 18th of Edward II. September 22, that King sent his
precept to the Lord Montalt, the lord of it, to have great care and
guard of it, on account of the approach of Mortimer; as he did at the
same time, to the Lord Bardolf, of his castle at Wirmegay.
Mortimer, the great favourite of his Queen, making his escape out
of the Tower of London in the preceding month, was then with her in
France, and both preparing to land with an army in England, to dethrone this King, which they soon after effected.
Persons famous for their gallantry in military affairs and actions,
appear to have been honoured with the constableship and government
Queen Isabel, Dowager of England, gave it (being lady of the manor and castle) to John de Herlyng, as appears by her patent.
"Isabel, by the Grace of God, Queen of England, Lady of Ireland, Countess of Pontiffe, &c. to whom these presents shall come,
"Know ye, that We, for the good and faithful service which our beloved servant John of Herlyng hath long since performed to our
thrice dear son the king, and likewise to Us, have granted to the said
John, for the term of his life, the constableship and guard of our
castle of Rysing, and to be surveyor of our chace there, he receiving
of Us the said offices during his life, every day 12d. of the profits of
our manor there, by the hands of our bayliffe and provost, for the
time being, wherefore we command all them whom it shall any wayes
concern, that to the said John, as to our constable, guardian, and
surveyor there, they be attending and respondent in the manner as
appertains to the said offices. In testimony of which, we have caused
these our letters patents to be drawn."
"Given at our castle of Hertford, the 6th day of November, in the
20th year of the reign of our aforesaid deare son the king."
After this, Edward, Prince of Wales, confirmed the same in the following manner.
"We, for the affection we beare to the person of the said John
Herlyng, &c. at his request confirm to him the grant which our said
lady and grand mother hath made, &c. and besides, in consideration
of the contumelies and hardships, the said John hath from day today
in the service of our said lord and father, the king, and being therefore willing for that cause to shew him more especial favour, We
doe, and grant, &c. to the said John, in case the said castle and manor should come into our hands, by the decease of our said lady and
grandmother, &c. the reversion being in Us, the said constableship,
&c. to hold for the terme of his life, &c."
"In witness whereof, We have caused these our letters to be made
patents. Given at London under our privy seale, the 21st day of
July, in the reign of our said lord and father the King of England,
the 27th, and of France the 14th."
King Edward III. also approved and ratified the said letters patents;
witnesses, the king, at Westminster, &c.
The aforesaid John de Herlyng, Knt. was a famous soldier, remarkable for his skill in maritime affairs, and had the custody of the sea
coasts, about Bristol, in 1342: he was lord of East Herling, in Norfolk.
In the sixth year of King Henry IV. John Wodehouse occurs constable, who was remarkably famous in the following reign at the battle
of Agincourt in France.
Ralph Lord Cromwell was constable in the reign of Henry VI. The
said King, in his 27th year, granted to Thomas Daniel, Esq. the office
of constable, keeper of the forest, chace, or warren, then held by Ralph
Lord Cromwell, on the death of the said lord, or on rendering up his
letters patents, or any other way, when they shall be vacant, to him the
said Thomas, and to his heirs lawfully begotten, to receive the same fees
and perquisites, &c. as the said Ralph holds; dated at Canterbury,
the 8th of September. This Thomas was afterwards made a knight,
and married Margaret, daughter of Sir Robert Howard, and sister of
John, the first Duke of Norfolk, of that family; he is said to have been
attainted in the first of Edward IV. but was afterwards restored in
blood and possessions, in the 14th of that King. (fn. 19)
In the 34th of Henry VI. Thomas Lord Scales, had a patent to be
governour, or constable, and appointed to reside there for its better
In the 1st of Henry VII. John Vere Earl of Oxford was made constable of the castle, steward of the honour of Rising, and ranger of the
chase for life, who commanded the vanguard in the battle of Bosworth,
wherein King Richard III. was slain.
In the time of King Henry VIII. Sir Henry Marny Lord Marny
was constable, and had 13l. 8s. per ann. fee allowed him: it is reasonable to suppose, it was at that time in a good state and condition.
This Lord Marny was one of the chief commanders under Charles
Brandon Duke of Suffolk, on his taking Montdidier in France, in the
15th of Henry VIII.; he had also 40s. per ann. as steward of this lordship, and 4l. 11s. 3d. per ann. as ranger of the chase, and 53s. 4d. per
ann. for two under foresters, or walkers.
Near to the castle on the south side, stood a chapel for the service
of the lord, &c. now in ruins.
The town is remarkable also for an hospital built by Henry Howard
Earl of Northampton. In the accounts of Owen Shepherd, Gent. in
the sixth of King James I. receiver of the lands, &c. of the said Earl,
he accounts for 451l. 14s. 2d. 0b. paid in that year to Richard Hovell,
junior, Esq. for building this almshouse.
It stands near to the east end of the churchyard, and is a square
building, containing 12 rooms or apartments for 12 poor women, and
one good room for the governess, with a spacious hall and kitchen, and
a decent chapel, which projects from the rest on the east side; the
letters patent for the foundation bear date June 1, in the 13th year of
the aforesaid King.
It is endowed with 100l. per ann. out of lands lying in Rising, Roydon, South and North Wotton, and Gaywood, also with 5l. every fifth
year from an hospital in Greenwich, founded by the said Earl for a
stock or fund to repair it.
Their monthly allowance is 8s. each, and the governess has 12s. but
on certain festival days appointed by the founder, viz. All-Saints,
Christmas, New Year's, Epiphany, Purification, St. Matthias, (which
is the founder's birth day,) Annunciation, Easter-day, Ascension, Whitsunday, Trinity Sunday, St. John Baptist's, and St. Michael's day, they
have an addition of one shilling to the governess, and 8d. to every
poor woman. Every year each poor woman, (and the governess,) has
for their constant apparel a gown of strong cloth, or kersey, of a dark
colour, and every seventh year a livery gown, (and a hat,) of blue
broad cloth lined with baize, with the founder's badge or cognizance
set on the breast, being a lion rampant, argent, embroidered. The
governess is allowed two chaldron of coals per ann. and the rest one
chaldron, each. They are obliged to be regularly and constant at the
church of Rising on Sundays, and at their own chapel every day at 9
in the morning and 3 in the afternoon, by the toll of a bell, where the
governess reads prayers; they are also enjoined to use certain prayers
(appointed by their founder) morning and evening, in their own apartments, and not to go out without the leave of the governess.
The qualifications required on admission are; They must be of
an honest life and conversation, religious, grave and discreet, able to
read, if such a one may be had, a single woman, her place to be void
upon marriage, to be 56 years of age at least, no common beggar,
harlot, scold, drunkard, haunter of taverns, inns, or ale-houses; to lose
their places if, after admission, any lands descend to them of the value
of 5l. per ann. or goods to the value of 50l. To go to prayers 3 times
every day, and to say the Lord's Prayer, the Creed, and a prayer ordered by the founder; to go to church morning and evening every
Sunday and holiday, and Wednesday and Friday. On being guilty
of atheism, heresy, blasphemy, faction in the hospital, injury, or
disgracing the assistants, neglect of duty, or misbehaviour in the performance of duty, to do any thing to the hurt or prejudice of the hospital, is expulsion.
The duty of the governess it to preserve the household stuff of the
hospital, to take care of the sick, to cause the gates to be shut morning and evening at due hours; to deliver out the blue gowns, every
Sunday and holiday morning, and to receive the same back again at
night. To ring the bell every morning and evening for prayers, to
shut the gates at prayer time, to look to the reparations of the hospital, that not so much as one stone be missing either in the walls, or
upon the hospital, by the space of a month, to keep the piece of
ground on the north-west side of the hospital next adjoining to the
walls, and to preserve the trees, to keep her garden plot fair and
handsome, to reside constantly there, not to lye abroad without license,
nor above 7 days (with license) in any one year; to give security in
20l. penalty upon her admission, for the performance of duty, the security to be given to the mayor of Rising; she is also to read prayers
appointed in the chapel twice every day, not to permit any stranger
to lye in the hospital, to dine and sup with the poor women in the hall
on festival days.
The offences of the governess, by the statutes of the founder, are
to be certified to the Earl of Arundel, or his heir, (who is now the
Earl of Suffolk) by two of the assistants, and then the Earl to take
order therein, by expulsion, or otherwise, as he shall think fit.
If the Earl of Arundel, or his next heir, within 60 days after
a certificate sent to him of a death or removal, does not appoint a
new governess, or poor woman, then the mayor of Lynn is to do it.
This noble Earl, who was highly eminent for his learning, and many
great endowments and virtues, founded two other hospitals: one at
Greenwich in Kent, for 20 poor men, and a warden; the other at Clun,
in Shropshire, for 12 poor men and a warden; he was buried in the
chapel of Dover-castle, in Kent, of which he was governour in 1614,
afterwards removed, placed and deposited at the east end of the chapel of his hospital at Greenwich, in 1696, together with his monument,
by the order of the mercer's company, trustees of the said hospital;
in his epitaph he is styled,—Inter Nobiles Literatissimus.
Here was also a famous chase for deer, and a warren belonging to
In the 39th of Elizabeth, great disputes arose about the bounds and
limits of them, between Ann Countess of Arundel, widow of Philip
Earl of Arundel, and William Cobb, Esq. Henry Spilman, &c. and
other neighbouring lords of manors, this lordship being part of her
jointure; and in the said year depositions were taken at Lynn, on the
26th of July, before Thomas Fermer, Richard Stubbs, John Willoughbye, and William Guybon, Esq.
John Jeffrey of Rysing castle, labourer, aged 76, then deposed that
he had known Rising chase and warren 60 years; that he dwelt in
Wotton and Rising all his life, and boundeth the limits, purlewe, or
walks of the chase, thus:
From Rysinge to Babingley-Mill, from thence to Rattleman's Lane,
so to Hall Lane, so to Butler's Cross, so in a green way leading to
Newton, so to Wades-Mill, so southward down a way leading to CappMill, so to Pedder's Lane, or waye, so to Gatton, so to Hillington
bridge, so southward over the moor to Homeston, so into Ruston's
Lane, so to two lanes, the names he remembreth not, so southward to
Bones bridge, so along the river to Weyvelinge house, so along the
river to Bawsey Dike, so by the old river to Bawsey water, and so
along the river to Gaywoode bridge. And further saith, that so much
of the ground as lyeth in the towns of Rising, North and South Wotton, Ryfflye, Grimston, Wyvelingham, and Rydon, are within the limits
of the chase, and have been reputed, used, let, &c. as parcel of the
said chase. He saith also that the bounds and limits of the said warren extend from Rydon, to Hall-Hill, and so near to Rydon church,
and thence down a waye to Hillington Causey, thence to Querne Hill,
and so to Wardyke; and he saith that the keepers, &c. have at their
wills, used to chase and rechase the deer, within the said limits; that
in the 9 acres, there were burrowing a 1000 conies and diverse falls;
that the warrenners have at ther wills, until now of late, quietly and
peaceably hunted, hayed, ferited, digged, killed, and carried away all
such conies as bred and burrowed upon the 9 acres, Congham Lyings
and Moor, and that the warrenners always paid tithe conies thereon
to the parsons of Congham, and he never heard any farm conies to
Mr. Spilman, or any other for the nine acres and Congham Lyings:
he saith Mr. Waller's grounds begin at King's Thorn, where sometime
was great store of conies, and so southward to the said pitts, so to
Hall-Hill, so to the hangings of Goldworthy Hill, unto the south side
thereof, and never knew it ploughed but by Mrs. Waller: he knoweth
the grounds in Mrs. Waller's occupation in Rydon, extending to Shepherd's Hill, with all Rydon Lyngs and so to Skegny Fen, and thence
to Rydon Shrubbs, and so to Eleven Herne, called Rydon-Common;
and saith in both these places last bounded in Rydon, the warreners
used like liberty as before in Congham 9 acres and Lyngs; and paid
tithe conies to the parson of Rydon; that in Wyveling grounds used
the like liberty, as in any other part of the warren, without any interruption, until now of late years: he deposeth the same of South Wotton grounds, and of Great Cromer's Close, and Little Cromer's Close,
both which lye in Risinge.
The temporalities of Flitcham priory were 2s.; of Pentney priory
1d.; of Buckenham 4d.
The tenths of the town were 6l.—Deducted, 6s. 8d.
The Church of Rising is an ancient pile built in a conventual
manner, with a tower between the body of it and the chancel, which
last is now in ruins, the walls only of part of it being standing; also
a south cross isle joining to the tower, which is entirely in ruins: the
west end is adorned with antique carving and small arches, in the
tower are 3 bells, but one is split, the roof of the church is flat, covered with lead, long but narrow, and is dedicated to St. Laurence.
There are no inscriptions in the church.
In the porch was a grave-stone, with part of an inscription, viz. Isabella Reginœ, in memory no doubt of some of that Queen's servants,
or retinue, which induced some persons to fancy that she herself was
The church was taxed formerly at 10 marks and a half, now at 8l.
in the King's books, and is discharged of first fruits, &c.
It pays no procurations, only synodals; being exempt from all
episcopal jurisdiction, and archidiaconal, except induction by the
archdeacon of Norwich, and the patronage is in the lord of the manor. The rector has the probate of wills, not as rector, but as commissary, nominated by the lord of the manor, derived, as it is said, from
a Norman custom, rather claimed, by the lord, in right of his castle, &c.
Here was the gild of Corpus Christi.
In 1302, John de Cockermuth was instituted rector, presented by Sir
Robert de Monthalt.
1309, John de Heydone. Ditto.
1318, Reginald de Thorp. Ditto.
1349, Hugh de Trykingham, by Isabell Queen of England.
1350, Robert de Congham. Ditto.
1355, William Rouse. Ditto.
1361, John de Rougham, by Edward Prince of Wales.
1377, John de Stalham, by Richard, King of England.
1381, John Brune, by the King, on account of the Duke of Montford's lands.
1385, John Smelt, by the locum tenens of the Duke of Britain.
1389, William de Fryseby. Ditto.
1393, John Symond. Ditto.
1398, Richard Hopton, by the Duke of York.
1416, John Ellyswick, by the King.
1419, Arnold Ymbrede. Ditto.
1427, William Gameleston. Ditto.
1427, Richard Trever. Ditto.
1443, John Chapman. Ditto.
1448, Robert Ferriby. Ditto.
1462, William Hamond. Ditto.
1476, Richard Craneworth, by Edward Prince of Wales.
1487, William Dikkys. Ditto.
1491, William Carter, by Arthur Prince of Wales.
1506, John Toche, by the King.
1509, Richard Ball. Ditto,
1530, John Lane. Ditto.
1545, Thomas Chanon, by the Duke of Norfolk.
1550, Richard Hammisley, by the King.
1560, William Goshawke, by Thomas Stainings, Esq. and Frances
Countess of Surrey.
1568, Thomas Fairfax, by Thomas Duke of Norfolk.
William Davy, rector.
1575, Robert Gray, by William Dyx, and William Cantrell.
William Grimshaw occurs rector 1606.
Hamond Baldwin in 1640.
Calvert occurs in 1662.
1664, Samuel Slipper, by Henry Howard.
1665, Thomas Lawson. Ditto.
1676, Matthew Bolton, A.M. by H. Howard, Baron of Rising.
1684. Matt. Bolton, by Simon Fox, Esq. &c.
1707, Elisha Smith, A.M. by William Fielding, Esq. and the Lady
Diana, his wife.
1740, Henry Loftus, by William Lord Viscount Andover.
1754, John Newton, by the Lord Viscount Andover.
1755, Phil. Pyle, by the Lord Andover.