HOLM BY THE SEA,
So called from its site by the water, and to distinguish it from Holme,
in South Greenhow hundred, &c. Holm bespeaks a watery vale.
Part of this town was possessed by a freeman, in the days of the
Confessor, who being expelled by the Conqueror, it was farmed of
him, or took care of by Godric at the survey, consisting of 40 acres,
3 borderers, and one carucate, valued at 10s. and St. Bennet (that is
the abbot of Ramsey) had the soc. (fn. 1)
This came after to Alan, son of Flaald, and so the Stranges, as in
Hunstanton manor, by the gift of the King; and William de Albiny's
(ancestor to the Earls of Arundel) lordship in Hunstanton extending
here, came also into the same family.
In the 3d of Henry III. John Le Strange held here and in Hunstanton one fee and a quarter, of the barony of Mileham; and in the
3d of Edward I. John Le Strange was presented to hold in this town,
Hunstanton, &c. 5 fees of the castle of Rising; and Hamon Le Strange
held the same in the 20th of Edward III. and in this family the lordship of Holm continues, Sir Henry L'Strange, Bart. being the late
Holkham's and Berry's Manors.
Bigot's manor of Ringsted, of which see there, extended into this
town. William Bardolf, in the 20th of Edward III. held half a fee
here, and in Ringsted, of William Calthorp, he of Hamon Le Strange,
and he of Isabel Queen of England, as of the castle of Rising, which
William Battail formerly held.
After this John Battail and Sibill his wife conveyed in the 40th of
Edward III. to William de Rugham, and John de Holkham, lands and
rents here, in Ringsted, and Hunstanton, from the heirs of Sibill; and
William de Kelsey and Elizabeth his wife, convey their parts from the
heirs of Elizabeth, to John de Holkhum.
This John made his will on the feast of St. Stephen, 1384, lord of
the manor of Holkham, in this town, leaving by Elizabeth his wife,
Gregory his son, and Margaret his wife, and a son, John. (fn. 2)
After this, Richard Cause died (as it seems) seized of it in the 19th
of Edward IV. and in the 35th of Henry VIII. Richard Everard, and
Lucia his wife, conveyed it to Thomas Stone, with 140 acres of land,
and 4 of pasture, 5 of salt-marsh, liberty of foldage, and 4s. rent in
this town, Ringsted and Hunstanton.
Walter Aslake of Creke, gives by his will, dated February 1, and
proved March 7, in 1503, his manor in Holm to his nephew, William
Aslake, and to Thomas his nephew, Bardolph's manor here and in
Ringsted; and Elizabeth Aslack, widow, daughter and heir of Thomas Bardolf, Esq. and Alice his wife, daughter and heir of Sir Edmund
Berry, Knt. by deed, sans date, grants to Robert Clere, Robert Drury,
and Edmund Jenny, Knights, John Yaxley, serjeant at law, &c. the
manor of Willingham, in Suffolk, &c. to hold for the use of the said
Elizabeth, for life, after to William Aslake her son, and his heirs;
remainder to Thomas her son; and by an inquisition taken April 8,
in the 23d of Henry VIII. William Aslack was found to die June 17,
1531, seized of the aforesaid manor; and Thomas, son and heir of
Christopher Playters, and Elizabeth his wife, sister of the said William,
was his heir.
In the 7th of Edward VI. Richard Aslack appears by the escheat
rolls, to die seized of several messuages and lands in this town, Ringsted and Hunstanton, held by knight's service, of Elizabeth, widow of
Sir Henry Parker, heir to Sir Philip Calthorp, and William was his
son and heir.
Aslack bore sable, a chevron, between three Catherine wheels, argent.
The Bardolfs and Berrys, lords of this manor, had an interest in
the patronage of the same.
By an inquisition, taken on October 20, in the 26th of Elizabeth,
William Playters of Sotterly in Suffolk, Esq. was found to die seized
of the lordships of Berries and Holkham, in Holm, held of — Le
Strange, as of his manor of Hunstanton, in soccage, by fealty, valued
at 3l. per ann. with the manors and advowsons of Sotterley, Uggeshale, and Elloughe, and the reversion of the lordship of Breseworth,
or Brusyerd, in Suffolk: he died June 6, in the aforesaid year, and
Thomas was found to be his son and heir, aged 18 years.
From the Playters (as I take it) it came to the Spilmans, and Sir
John Spilman, son of Sir Henry, and Roger, son of Sir John, and
Charles Spilman of Congham, were lords; which last sold it to —
Basset of Lynn.
After this it came to Thomas Rogers, Esq. of Dersingham; and
Mr. Case of Mildenhale is the present lord, who purchased it of Mr.
The Lord Bardolf had also a manor here and in Ringsted; of
which see there.
William de Scohies had also a lordship in this town which 2 free
men held in King Edward's time, with 40 acres, and 3 borderers;
there was always belonging to it a carucate and an half, which was
valued in his manor of Bircham; also another freeman, with half a
carucate of land, &c. valued at 5s. (fn. 3) was ejected, who held it before the
This lordship came from Scohies to Walter Giffard, Earl of Bucks,
and from that family to the Earls of Clare, as may be seen in Bircham Magna and Ringstead Parva.
Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester and Hereford, held here, in
Bircham and Ringstead Parva, one fee in capite, which Nicholas de
Bircham formerly held of the honour of Clare.
In the 8th of Edward II. the heirs of William Bemond were found
to hold here, &c. the fourth part of a fee of the said honour, as did
Matthew Cachevache. The Lady Elizabeth de Burgh, held it in capite
in the 29th of Edward III. as did Roger Mortimer, Earl of March,
in the 22d of Richard II. and Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March, in
the 3d of Henry VI.
It came afterwards to the Stranges, and Hamon Le Strange of
Hunstanton, held it in the 22d of Elizabeth, of the King, as heir to
the Earl of March, and part of the honour of Clare.
In that family it remained; Sir Henry Le Strange, Bart. died seised
This town gave name to a family who held lands by knight's service.
Godfrey de Holme, in the 16th of Edward I. was acquitted of performing suit to the court of James, son of Jeffrey Banard, of Holme, for
lands granted by Cassandra, wife of Geffrey, to Nicholas de Holm, on
paying 2d. per ann. for all services; and in the 18th of the said King,
George, son of Laurence de Holm, impleaded the abbot of Lilleshall
in Shropshire, for the advowson of the church of St. Mary de Hulmo,
by the Sea, of which his ancestor was possessed in the time of King
Richard I. but George not appearing, judgment was given that the
abbot and his successors, should quietly enjoy it.
Thomas Holm aliened lands in the 9th of Edward II. to the abbey
of Ramsey, whose manor of Ringsted extended into this town.
In the 14th of that reign, Laurence de Repps and Joan his wife,
settled on Henry, son of John de Holm by the Sea, lands here, in
Ringsted and Hunstanton.
The lords of this manor had an interest in the patronage.
In the 37th of Henry VIII. Sir Thomas L'Estrange was found to
die possessed of the manor of Baynard's in this town and Ringsted,
held, as then found, of the Duke of Norfolk.
On the death of Sir Nicholas, in the 34th of Elizabeth, it was found
to be held of the manor of Mileham.
The honour of Richmond also extended here. Bartholomew Benneyt, one of the heirs of James Bainard, held in the reign of Henry
III. the 20th part of a fee of John de Britannia.
Alan de Swaffham held half a fee of the said honour.
The tenths were 13l. 10s. Deducted 2l.
The temporalities of Ramsey abbey were valued at 5l. per ann. In
1428, their manor of Ringstead Magna, &c. extending into this town.
On the dissolution, this came to the L'Estronges; and continued in
that family until Hamon L'Estrange, Esq. of Bury, gave it with the
patronage of the vicarage, to Counsellor Johnson of Norwich, on his
marriage with one of his daughters and coheirs.
John Myller of Thornham Bishops, by his will, in 1488, gives to
the men being, and inhabiting in Holm, his marsh on the west side
of the said town, to the use and profit of the community of the said
village for ever. (fn. 4)
Sir John Banys of Holme by the Sea, here buried, leaves by his
will in 1503,—"20 marks to bye a sute of vestments of whight
damask for his soul, and to our Lady gild, 18 acres of freelonde on
this condition that the sayd gild shall kepe my certain in the pulpitte
every Sunday for John Banys, Roger Banys my fader, Margaret my
mother, and Sir John Lee perpetually, and ons in the yer—dirige,
&c. and in defalt thereof, the Corpus Christi gild to have the sayd 18
acres, &c." (fn. 5)
The church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and is a regular pile,
containing a nave, a north and south isle, with a chancel covered with
lead, and a four-square tower at the west end of the south isle, with
5 bells, and was built by Henry de Nottingham, who was one of the
council of the duchy of Lancaster, in the 5th and 6th, &c. of Henry
In the 15th of Richard II. he sold lands here and in Ringsted, to
Sir John White; is said to have been an itinerant judge in that reign,
and lies buried in a chapel at the east end of the south isle, under a
marble gravestone, with the effigies or portraiture of himself and wife
in brass, and this epitaph;
Herry Notyngham and hys wyyff lyne here,
Yat maden this chirche, stepull and quere.
Two vestments and bells they made also,
Christ hem save therefore ffro wo.
Ande to bring ther saulls to bliss of heven
Sayth Pater and Ave withe mylde Steven.
On a brass plate here
Orate p. a'i' ab; Willi. Stele et Margcrie ux's sue, cuj. a'i'e &c.
In the said isle was buried John Grey, who died about the year
1490, and gave to the guilds of our Lady, Trinity, St. John Baptist,
and St. Thomas, a quarter of barley to each; to the light of the dame
of the west end, 12d. and to that of the southgate, 12d. to the kiestern
light, 8d. and that of the place 8d.
On a window here the effigies of a man, a woman, and 4 daughters,
and - - - - - Willi. Stone et Margerie uxoris - - - - - - - - - - - - fenestram Ano. Dni. Mill'imo - - - - -.
In the nave, a gravestone with a brass plate,
In memory of Barbara Strickland, wife of William Strickland of
London, grocer, daughter of Richard Stone of Holme, and Clemence
his wife, who died December 15, 1582.
Against the east pillar of the nave, a mural monument, the effigies
of a man and his wife, behind him 7 sons, and behind her 6 daughters, kneeling, with the arms of Stone, argent, three cinquefoils, sable,
and a chief, azure impaling barry of six, argent and sable, a bend over
Hic jacet inclusus Ricardus Stonus in urna,
Et conjux Clemens, ex Martindalibus orta.
Quœ pueros septem genuerunt, sexq. puella,
Ex his prognatos, pronepotes atq; nepotes
Septuaginta duos longœvus uterq; videbat,
Conjugio stabili vixere fideliter ambo.
Tres menses, decies sex plene et quatuor annos,
Semen ut e terra, sua sic jungenda resurget
Corpora tandem animis Christo mansura per œvum.
Here under lyeth Richard Stone and Clemens his wife, who lyved in
wedlock joyfully together 64 years and three months, of them proceeded
7 sons and 6 daughters, and from these and theirs issued 72 children,
which the sayde Richard and Clemens to their great comfort did beholde. Richard Stone died October 5, 1607, in the year of his age 87.
On a stone,
Orate p. a'i'a. Johs. Lowe et Hellene ux'is.—Orate p. a'i'a.
In the chancel,
Here lyeth Barbara, the 2d wife of Hamon L'estrange, Esq. of Pakenham in Suffolk, daughter of Edward Bullock, Esq. of Essex, who
died Feb. 15, 1704.
Arms of L'Estrange impaling Bullock, gules, a chevron between
three bulls heads, caboshed, argent, armed or.
In memory of Mr. Francis Chaloner, customhouse officer, buried
Feb. 26, 1713.
Also one for
Mr. Cremer, vicar of Ingaldesthorp.
The Church was anciently a rectory, valued at 60 marks, with
the then vicarage, and the right of presentation appears to be in several hands.
In the 34th of Henry II. John, abbot of Ramsey, resigned all his
right herein, by fine, to John Strange, before John Bishop of Norwich, Ralph de Glanville, the King's justiciary, Godfrey de Lucey,
and Richard, Archdeacon of Hereford; (fn. 6) and John L'Estrange,
son of John L'Estrange, and Lucy his wife, gave to the abbot of Littleshall in Shropshire, their right of patronage of this church; wit
nesses, Sir Henry, Sir Roger, and Sir Robert, brother to the said John,
(whom I take to be the second Lord Strange of Knockyn) Sir John de
Hodewell, and Sir William de Hugfort (the deed being sans date.)
John Le Strange, and the Lady Joan de Somery (his wife) confirmed the donation of this church, made by their ancestors, to Littleshale abbey; witnesses, Roger Spurgehose, then sheriff of Shropshire,
Sir Hugh Burnel, Sir Reginald de Lee, and Sir Adam de Chetwynde,
dated at Knokyn 4 cal. Febr. 1280.
William, son of Alan de la Sale de Swaffham, conveyed his right
to Ralph, abbot of Littleshale, in the 14th of Edward I.
On August 19, 1398, the rectory was appropriated to the aforesaid
abbey, by Henry Spencer Bishop of Norwich, and a vicarage settled
On the dissolution of religious houses, the impropriate rectory came
to the Crown; and on the 8th of March, in the 8th of Elizabeth, was
granted to Roland Hayward, and Thomas Dyxon, and was afterwards possessed by Richard Stubbs, Esq. who, by deed, dated May 21,
in the 15th of King James I. settled it on Hamon Le Strange, younger
son of Sir Hamon Le Strange of Hunstanton, and of Alice his wife,
with 96 acres of land here, in Hunstanton, Ringsted, Magna and
Parva, late Thomas Bygg's, Gent. remainder to Roger L'Strange,
another son of the aforesaid Hamon, held (as said) of the honour of
Clare, and paying 6s. 8d. per ann.
The abbot of Ramsey had a portion of tithe valued at one mark, in
this church, in 1428, and the cellarer of Norwich, a pension of 4s.
per ann. The portion of Ralph Berry at 2 marks, that of the prior
of Sporle at 3 marks. Peter-pence, 2s.
The vicarage is now valued at 6l. 13s. 4d.
In the 19th of Edward I. the abbot of Littleshale gave half a mark
for license of agreement with William de Sale of Swaff ham, in a plea
concerning the patronage of this church.
The patronage of the rectory was in the Lord Strange.
William de Tregos was rector in the time of William de Ralegh
Bishop of Norwich.
In 1299, Richard de Roulesham, instituted rector, presented by the
abbot and convent of Littleshale.
1301, William de Morton, by ditto.
In 1308, William Godram, instituted into a portion of tithe issuing
out of the demeans of Henry de Berry, presented by the said Henry.
1317, Paul de Sudbury instituted to a portion belonging to the demeans of the late James Banyard, presented by John le Curzoun,
and Richmaya his wife.
1324, Thomas Stywerd, of the portion of Henry Berry, presented
by Henry Berry.
1330, Adam Popey, to Curzon's portion, by John Curzoun, Knt.
and Richolda his wife.
1331, John Thrillow, to Berry's portion, by Henry Berry.
1369, William Ellerton, by the Bishop, a lapse.
1379, Alexander de Massingham, by the abbot and convent.
In 1398, Henry Bishop of Norwich appropriated this rectory to the
aforesaid abbey, and in November, the said year, Robert de Pychford
was presented to the vicarage, by the said abbot and convent.
1410, John Grey. Ditto.
1417, John Hachard, ditto; the vicarage then valued at 10 marks.
1451, Roger Burney. Ditto.
1483, John Lye. Ditto.
1493, John Banys. (fn. 7) Ditto.
1504, Edward Lye. Ditto.
1507, William Brook. Ditto.
1511, William Hempton. Ditto.
1539, Lanc. Southeke. Ditto.
1573, Richard Todd, collated by the Bishop, a lapse.
1601, Thomas Wilson, by the Queen; he returned 140 communicants.
1604, William Read, by the King.
1609, James Pilkington, by Sir Hamon Le Strange.
1611, James Smith, by the King.
1633, John Parvish, by the King.
Christopher Fisher, vicar, 1662.
1670, John May, by the King.
1675, John Hodson, by the King.
1704, William Cremer, by the King.
1736, Archibald Kerr, presented by Hamon Le Strange, Esq. of Bury.
1761, Edward Castleton, by James Johnson, Esq.
Here were the guilds of St. Mary, St. John Baptist, St. Thomas
the Martyr, and the Holy Trinity; the plough-light, the star-light;
Westgate-daunce, and Southgate daunce.
John de Happesburgh was collated vicar by Thomas Blundevile
Bishop of Norwich; and William de Ralegh, bishop, collated Thomas
de Norwich, but William de Tregoz, rector, and his patron, the Lord
John Le Strange, appealing against it, and requiring the vicarage to
be consolidated to his rectory, it was agreed that Thomas, the vicar,
should enjoy his vicarage for life, and should after be consolidated to
the rectory; dated at Gaywod, 4 kal. Augi Pontific. ao. 4.
In December, 1626, a great whale was cast on the shore here, the
wind blowing strong at north-west, 57 feet long, the breadth of the
nose end 8 feet, from nose end to the eye, 15 feet and a half, the eyes
about the same bigness as those of an ox, the lower chap closed, and
shut about 4 feet short of that of the upper; this lower chap narrow
towards the end, and therein were 46 teeth, like the tusks of an elephant, the upper one had no teeth, but sockets of bones to receive the
teeth: 2 small fins only, one on each side, and a short small fin on
the back: it was a male, had a pizzle about 6 feet long, and about a
foot in diameter near its body; the breadth of the tail from one outward tip to the other, was 13 feet and an half.—The profit made of it
was 217l. 6s. 7d. and the charge in cutting it up and managing it
came to 100l. or more.