This town does not occur in the Book of Domesday, so as to give
us a satisfactory account of the tenure of the principal lordship; we
only meet with a small fee or lands which St. Etheldreda (that is the
church of Ely) held in Thurton and Thorp, in this hundred, as may
be there seen, and are said to belong to Berc, with all their customary
dues, and to be valued there. See in Thurton in this hundred, and
Thorp in Clavering hundred.
It is certain that the ancient family De Monte Canisio, were soon
after the Conquest possessed of it.
Agnes, widow of Warine Lord Muntchensy, son of Hubert, held it
about the 30th of Henry II. being then 60 years of age, (daughter of
Pain Fitz-John,) of the church of Ely, as said, and was a widow, in
the King's disposal or gift; Sir William and Sir Ralph de Montchensy
were her sons, and Hubert, who was a clerk; also 2 daughters, one
married to Stephen de Glanvile, the other to William Paynel. (fn. 1)
William de Montchensy, by deed, sans date, grants to Ralph de
Bradeker, all the land which was Gilbert de Karleman's, belonging to
his manor of Bergh, paying 12d. per ann. witnesses, Richard de Sei'ges,
William de Manors, William Fitz-Jeffrey, Warine, son of Ralph,
Richard Wassing ford, &c.
Warine Lord Montchensy gave in the 15th of King John, 2000
marks for livery of his inheritance; and had by Joan his wife, daughter and coheir of William Marchal Earl of Pembroke, William his son
and heir, who married Dionysia, daughter and heir of Nicholas de
Anesley, whose son, William, leaving an only daughter and heir,
Dionysia, brought this lordship, &c. to Hugh de Vere; and dying
without issue, her inheritance descended to Joan, her father's sister,
married to William de Vatentia Earl of Pembroke, lord of Bergh and
Apeton. In the 7th of Edward II. his son and heir Aymer, Earl of
Pembroke, married Mary, daughter of Guy de Chatillon Earl of St.
Paul in France, but dying in the 17th of Edward II. his two sisters
were found to be his heirs.
Isabel, the eldest, had a grant of dispensation from the Pope, on account of consanguinity, to marry Jn. de Hastings, Lord of Abergavenny;
and Joan, the youngest, married John Comyn, Lord of Badenhagh, in
On a division of the estate, this lordship came to the Hastings.
John de Hastings Earl of Pembroke dying s. p. in the 13th of
Richard II. settled (through the persuasion of his mother, as is said)
the Hastings estate on her nephew, Sir William Beauchamp, 2d son of
Thomas Earl of Warwick, by Catherine his wife, daughter of Roger
Mortimer Earl of March, sister to Agne mother of John Earl of
Pembroke, aforesaid, by Laurence Earl of Pembroke.
Great lawsuits commenced on account of this settlement, between
Reginald Grey, lord of Ruthyn, as heir, and Sir William Beauchamp,
which was compromised in the 15th of Richard II. and Sir William
had a grant of this lordship, &c. with the barony of Abergavenny, in
Joan, widow of Sir William, sister and coheir of Thomas Earl of
Arundel, died seized of the castle and manor of Abergavenny, Pembroke's Inn in London, and Kederminster in Worcestershire, as part of
Richard Beauchamp, his son and heir, was Earl of Worcester, and by
Isabel his wife, daughter and coheir of Richard, son and heir of
Thomas Lord D'Spencer, had a daughter and sole heir, Elizabeth, who
brought the inheritance to her husband, Sir Edward Nevill, Lord of
Abergavenny, in her right, 4th son of Ralph Nevill Earl of Westmoreland; at his death in the 16th of Edward IV. George was his son
and heir, who, by his will, dated 1498, at Chartham in Kent, bequeaths
his body to be buried in the monastery of St. Pancras at Lewis in
Sussex, "where I have lately made a tomb." (fn. 2) By Eliz. his wife, he had
George, his son and heir.
Elizabeth his widow, by her will, dated April 14, 1500, gives her body
to be buried in the church of St. Martin, Outwich, London, in Bishopsgate-street, in a vault of the chapel of our Lady there, by Richard
Nayler her husband; and wills a priest to pray there, for the souls of
George Lord Abergavenny, Richard Nayler, Rowland Basset, and
John Stokker, her husbands: she was the daughter of William Brent
George Nevill Lord Abergavenny, their son and heir. had by Mary
his 2d wife, daughter of Edward Duke of Bucks, Henry his son and
heir, who married Frances, daughter of Thomas Earl of Rutland; he
dying in the 29th of Elizabeth, left an only daughter and heir, married
to Sir Thomas Vane; so that his brother Edward's son succeeded him
in honour and estate, and was Lord Abergavenny.
It appears that Henry aforesaid left a widow, Elizabeth, daughter
of Stephen Darrell, remarried to William Sidley, and had dower assigned
her, by Edward Lord Abergavenny, in the 36th of Elizabeth.
In this family it still remains, the Right Honourable Lord Abergavenny being lord and patron.
At the time of the lawsuit abovementioned, John Maycote of Brenchesley, in Kent, deposed that he then lived with Sir William Brenchesley, who was of counsel to Sir William Beauchamp, (afterwards a
judge,) and one day he invited to dinner at his house at the end of
Paternoster-row, London, all the said counsel, viz. Sir Robert Charleton, William Pynchebek, William Brenchesley, John Catesley, and other
judges of the law; and at the end of dinner, he arose from table, went
into his chapel, and a little while after, came back, laid a noble before
each counsel on the table, saying,
"Sirs, for God's sake inform me fully whether I have any right or
not, and delay me no longer." They sitting in doubt of his anger,
William Pynchbeck, said, "Sir William, certainly there is no man who
will assure you those lands and lordships, unless you have a release
from the heirs of Hastings, and that heir being under age, his release
would not signify:" upon this the composition was made afterwards.
Sir Andrew de Hengham had an interest, and held lands of this
manor, and for 35 marks of silver gave them to Henry de Norwich,
clerk, in the 8th of Edward I. and in the 17th of Edward II. Henry
de Heylesdon was found to hold in Bergh cum Apeton, the 16th part
of a fee of the barony of Montchensy.
In the 5th of Edward III. Bartholomew Bateman and Petronilla
his wife, John de Acre, and Anabilla his wife, conveyed to John de
Berney and Sarah his wife, lands here, in Thurton, Sithing, and Mendham, part of which Agnes, widow of Henry de Heylesdon, held for
Richard de la Rokeley was also found in the 17th of Edward II. to
hold lands here of the Earl of Pembroke, and Thomas his son held it
in the 20th of Edward III. of Mary de St. Paul Countess of Pembroke,
Adam Horne, in the 24th of Edward I. and Alice his wife, had granted by fine to Richard, son of William de la Rokeleys, 12 messuages,
253 acres of land, 5 of marsh, 4 of meadow, 7 of wood, 30s. rent here,
in Apeton, Holveston, &c.
Apton, and Holveston were at this time hamlets belonging to Burgh,
now, as I conceive, depopulated.
Richard Berney, Esq. of Langley sold his interest herein to Mr.
Green, a yeoman, whose son Thomas enjoyed it: only 2 copyholders
then belonged to it, and the free rents were about 13s. per ann. it was
held in soccage, of the Lords Abergavenney's manor.
On an inquisition taken in 1652, it was found that there were 592
acres of land, subject to be drowned.
Here was also a little manor called Washingford's, from its owner:
Francis Wolfe, Gent. of Thurton, bought it of William Westgate, and
it was held of Bergh Apton manor, paying 2s. per ann. about the reign,
of Queen Elizabeth.
William de Washing ford held it Ao. 41 Henry III.
The tenths were 5l. 13s. 4d.—Deducted 1l. 6s.
Temporalities of Norwich priory 3s.
Mr. Roket, rector, gave 28 acres of land, to pay the lete fee, 6s. 8d.
to the lord yearly, &c.
The Church of Bergh is a rectory, dedicated to St. Peter and St.
Paul, has a nave and south isle covered with lead, a square tower,
with 6 tuneable bells, and a chancel covered with lead.
In the chancel is a grave-stone,
In memory of Robert Connould rector, 48 years and 8 months, who
rebuilt the chancel, and died October 31, 1715, in the 76th year of his
Sarah, wife of John Berney, Esq. was buried in the chapel of St.
Anne, in the church, and by his will in the 48th of Edward III. he
gives a legacy to the making of a new window in the new chancel of
In the reign of Edward I. William Lord Montchensy was patron
of the church; the rector had then a manse, with 14 acres of land,
and held it with Apton, and a mediety of the church of Holveston;
there was also a vicarage erected out of the profits of the rectory, belonging to the fee of the prioress of Carhow, endowed with 30 acres
of land, and valued together at 26 marks.
Peter-pence 16d. and carvage, with Apton, 11d.
Carhow priory had a portion of tithe valued at 26s. 8d. given by
William Lord Montchensy.
In the 14th of Edward I. Simon de Liston was rector, and James
1321, William Cross, instituted, presented by Adam de Valentia
Earl of Pembroke, and before this, in 1318, the said Earl presented
Robert de Redeswell.
1328, William de Merstang.
1342, Robert de Winfarthing, by Mary de St. Paul Countess of
1353, William de Fratyngton. Ditto.
1359, Peter de Thaxtead, ditto, to Bergh, cum Apton, chapel, and
the moiety of Holveston annexed.
1378, John Curson, by the King.
1406, William Mauston, by William Beauchamp Lord Abergavenny.
1409, Robert Leghum. Ditto.
1422, Robert Potter, by Joan Lady Abergavenny.
1425, Roger Philpot. Ditto.
1434, William Wyrmod. Ditto.
1439, John Halle, by George Nevill Lord Abergavenny.
1449, John Hilles, by Edward Lord Abergavenny.
1451, Robert Sterop. Ditto.
1466, John Bryan. Ditto.
1468, William Newhouse. Ditto.
1469, Mr. Step. Sharpe. Ditto.
1471, Robert Roket. Ditto
1513, Richard Bull.
1517, Nicholas Harrison, by George Lord Abergavenny.
1545, John Matchet, by the King, on the minority of Henry son of
George Lord Abergavenny.
1582, Henry Keddington: in 1603, he returned 156 communicants,
and died in 1606.
Robert Bate, rector.
Mr. Horseman died rector in 1658, and
Mr. Samuel Stead, rector, died in 1668, and was succeeded
Mr. Robert Connould.
In 1717, Thomas Dunch was presented by Ash Windham, Esq. and
to a mediety of Holveston.
1719, Richard French, by George Lord Abergavenny.
1765, Walter Nevill. Ditto.
The present valor, with Apton and Holveston mediety, is 13l. 6s. 8d.
and pays first fruits, &c.
The chapel of Apton was standing in 1359.
Holveston appears then to have been a village, and to have had a
church to which there belonged two medieties; to one of these the
rector of Bergh was presented in 1359, and so remains annexed at
There was a good family that took their name from it: John de
Holveston, and Sir Thomas, his son, were lords of a manor in Heverland in the reign of King Edward III. as may be there seen, &c.
In 1330, Robert de Hardeshull resigned the moiety of Holveston,
in exchange for Belagh in South Erpingham.