Roger Bigot, ancestor of the Earls of Norfolk, of that name, had
a carucate of land, which 4 free-men of Suffield were deprived of, to
which there belonged 7 borderers, and 4 socmen, 2 carucates, an acre
and half of meadow, valued in Suffield; 4 freemen also held 80 acres,
with 4 borderers, 2 carucates, and 2 acres of meadow, and a mill, valued then at 10s. at the survey at 16s. 4d. it was one leuca long, and
5 furlongs broad, paid 18d. gelt, and one of these 4 men was under
the predecessor of Robert Malet. (fn. 1)
Here was also a small tenure in the Conqueror's hand, which Offert,
a freeman, possessed in the Saxon time, 6 acres valued at 6d. and
Godric was the King's steward of it. (fn. 2)
Both these tenures were in a family that assumed their name from
the town, by being enfeoffed of them: King Henry II. granted his
fee to Abraham de Felmingham.
Isaac, son of Abraham de Felmingham, had 28s. of land, which was
formerly the King's land, and William, son of Isaac de Felmingham,
gave 100s. relief for a carucate of land, that Isaac held here and in
Becham in capite, in the 12th of Henry II. (fn. 3)
Matilda, widow of Abraham, was living in the beginning of the
said reign, and in the King's donation, holding lands in capite. Others
also of the said family had an interest herein.
Eva, daughter of Robert, son of Simon de Felmingham, and William
de Holgate, son of William, son of Symon de Felmingham, and John
de Trunch, son of Geff. son of Symon de Felmingham, having released
to Eva, all their right; she, by deed sans date, released to the abbot
of St. Bennet, all her right in the advowson of this church, and in
the 41st of that King, Roger Bigot, Earl of Norfolk, released by fine
a moiety of the advowson to the abbot. (fn. 4)
In the 15th of Edward I. Roger Bigod Earl of Norfolk had the
assise, view of frank pledge, free-warren, &c. and in 1303, Gregory
de Felmingham presented to the rectory as lord; Gregory dying lord
of a fourth part of a manor in the 14th of Edward II. left 6 sisters
and coheirs; Alice, who married James de Whitwell;—Catherine,
wife of James Rightwys;—Ela, of Oliver de la Mowe;—John, rector
of Felmingham, by Egidia, or Elizabeth, another sister;—also Christian and Joan.
In 1322, John Rightwise presented to the rectory, and in 1349,
John de Whitwell, which John, and John Michels, were found to have
an interest herein in the 47th of Edward III. and John Whitwell
and Margaret his wife, were living in the 10th of Henry IV.
John Whitewll, Esq. died lord in the 7th of Henry VI. and seized
of the advowson, leaving Thomas his son and heir, and was buried in
the chancel of this church; and Richard Whitwell, in the 20th of
John Whitwell, by his will, proved May 8, 1546, was buried by
his mother in the chapel of St. John Baptist, in this church; he
appoints his cousins, John and Miles Gross, Gent. his executors, and
having no issue, Anne his sister, wife of Richard Crofts of Wytton,
was his heir, who had livery of it in the 35th of Henry VIII. and on
the demise of the said Ann, Thomas her grandson, son and heir of
her son Henry, had livery in the 1st of Queen Mary.
In the 8th of King Charles I. Thomas Crofts, Esq. of Felmingham.
and Phillis his wife, settled it on John, his son and heir, and Jane,
daughter of Thomas Tilney, on their marriage, and in the 11th of
that King, the said John and Jane, had license to alien it to Sir
William Denny, Knt. of Norwich, by deed dated June 18, and in
the following year, September 1, Thomas Croft, the father, joined in
Sir William Denny, Bart held it in 1645, and with Catharine his
wife, conveyed it October 12, 1649, to Sir Richard Berney, Bart. of
Reedham, and William Berney, a younger son.
Richard Berney, Esq. (son of William) of Swannington, by his will
dated October 2, 1675, was buried in the chancel of Swannington
church, gives to his sister Anne, (fn. 5) this lordship, &c. who dying s. p.
in 1679, William Bladwell, Esq. in right, probably, of his wife
Phillippa, who was mother of Richard and Ann Berney aforesaid,
and daughter of Thomas Brown, Esq. of Elsing, possessed it, and so
it came to Gyles Bladwell, Esq. his son, and half brother to Ann,
aforesaid, who was lord in 1715, and afterwards sold it to Talman,
who possessed it in 1740.
In 1321, Sir Ralph de Skeyton released to Alice Breton, and her heirs,
and to Robert Brian of Felmingham and Hawise his wife, and their
heirs, all his heirs, claim in the homages, services, &c. which they
held of him, and in the 26th of Edward III. William Bryan of
Felmingham, and Joan his wife, were querents, and William de
Wychingham, deforciant, who settled on Bryan, a lordship 5 messuages, 80, acres of land, with 28s. rent.
Sir Henry Inglose, by his will will, proved 1451, ordered his manor
of Bryans here to be sold.
In the 2d of Edward II. Thomas de Antingham passed by fine to
Geff. Sybille, of this town, lands here, and Bartholomew de Antingham died seized of a manor in the 39th of Edward III.
John, son of Roger Leese, and Christiana, his wife, convey to
William de Smalburgh, and his heirs, the moiety of the manor of
Felmingham, with messuages, rents, &c. here, in Antingham, &c. to
be held of the heirs of Christiana, and in the next year Thomas
Atte Grene and Alice his wife, granted by fine their right or share to
The abbot of St. Bennet at Holm held at the survey, and before,
77 acres, with 5 borderers, one carucate in demean, and half a one
among the tenants, and an acre of meadow, 4 socmen also had 50
acres, a carucate and an acre of meadow: there was a church with 2
acres, valued at 20s. (fn. 6)
This remained always in the said abbey, and the temporalities were
valued in 1428, at 27s. 4d. ob.
Robert Rugg, citizen and alderman of Norwich, farmed it in the
4th and 5th of Philip and Mary, of the Bishop of Norwich, at 6l.
13s. 4d. per ann. and was called the Chambere's manor, with the
fishery, &c. and extended into North Walsham, &c.
William Rugg, Esq. son of Robert, was heir to his uncle, the
Bishop, and lived here, as did this son Thomas.
The family of Rugg, took their name from a lordship, or hamlet
in the town of Pattingham in Staffordshire, and were of good degree
and eminency; (fn. 7) the younger branch came into Norfolk: in the
49th of Edward III. Nicholas Rugg, second son of John Rugg, of
Rugg, seated himself there, and was father of Clement Rugge, who
was living in the 12th of Henry IV. his son William was father of
Thomas Rugge, who occurs in the 23d of Henry VI.; and left Robert
Rugge of North Repps, his son and heir, in the 2d of Edward IV.
father of William, whose son Robert lived in the 1st of Edward V.
and was father of William, of North Repps, Gent.
William Rugge, Esq. of Felmingham, is said to have changed his
arms, per fess, sable and argent, and unicorn saliant, counterchanged,
armed, mained and unguled or, to that of gules, a chevron engrailed,
between three mullets pierced, argent; but Richard de Rugge, who
lived in the 2d of Richard III. and the Bishop of Norwich, bore, as it
appears, this last coat.
The tenths were 8l.—Deducted 1l. 6s. 8d.
The Church is dedicated to St. Andrew, and there were 4 portions, or parts belonging to it, 3 of which were appropriated to the
abbey of St. Bennet of Holm, (fn. 8) who had a manse, with one acre and a
half of land, and these were valued at 27 marks; this was in the
time of Walter Suffeld Bishop of Norwich, and a vicarage was
founded, valued at 5l.—Peter-pence 15d. ob.; the present valor of
the rectory is 6l. and is discharged.
Before this appropriation, Richard was rector of one portion, and
died sans date.
William, son of Isaac, was about this time (temp. Henry II.) the
true patron; after him, Robert, the chaplain of Felmingham, held
the whole church, and so did Master Roger, son of the said Robert,
and Thomas, the archdeacon, held the same on the presentation of
Thomas, abbot of Holm, in the time of John of Oxford, Bishop of
Norwich, in whose time a division was first made, on the claim of
Abraham, father of Isaac, in the King's court; on which the 3 parts
of the church belonged to one rector, presented by the abbot, and
the 4th part, or portion, to another rector, to be presented by the
said Abraham and his successours.
Of this 4th part William de Wroxham was rector, then Hubert
Walter, which Hubert, (as I take it,) was afterwards, Archbishop of
Canterbury, who resigned it to master Thomas de Weston, then
Richard, who held it 28 years, on the presentation of Isaac his
John Sampson, occurs rector 1267.
1303, John de Helmingham, by Gregory de Felmingham.
1322, Gregory Ryghtwys, by John Ryghtwys.
1349, Nigel Broun, by John de Whytwell.
1378, Abraham Whitwell, by Sir William Wychingham.
1417, John London, by John Whytewell of Felmingham, who had
5 parts of the manor of Felmingham, and so a right to present successively 5 times.
1431, William Brewer, by Thomas Whytewell.
1432, Robert Cosyn. Ditto.
1440, Edward Randold. Ditto.
1460, William Richards, by Richard Whytewell.
1470, Peter Norman. Ditto.
1485, Jeff. Knight.
1496, Robert Aschue, by John Whytewell.
1536, Thomas Baker, by ditto.
1553, William Greneway, by James Hartstrong, Gent. assignee of
Ann Crofts, widow, and united to the vicarage.
1559, Thomas Rogerson, by Thomas Crofts.
1566, William Colles. Ditto.
1578, Robert Grene. Ditto.
1584, Richard Sadlington; in 1603, he returned 211 communicants.
1604, Thomas Canham.
1604, William Starkey, by the Bishop.
1661, Edmund Chetham, by Steph. Burrell, Gent.
1664, Benjamin Need, by Giles Bladwell, Esq.
1703, John Furse, by Giles Bladwell.
1722, William Webb, to a fourth part, on the death of Barry
Love, by James Johnson, hac vice.
1754, Arthur Branthwait, on Webb's death, by Thomas Sotherton,
Esq. and Mary his wife.
1756, Robert le Grys, by Thomas Sotherton, &c.
Mr. Talman, patron of the rectory in 1742.
The present valor of the vicarage is 6l. and is discharged.
Robert, occurs vicar in 1299.
1316, Richard Attlebrigg, instituted, presented by the abbot of
1328, William Merle. Ditto.
1349, Roger Norman, by the King, in the vacancy of an abbot.
1361, John Smith, by the abbot.
1371, Robert Sefrey.
1373, Simon Reed.
1381, John de Taverner.
1386, Ralph Aleyn.
1390, John Beene.
1396, Thomas Smyth.
John Baxtere, vicar.
1413, John Caldwell.
1418, Thomas Kydelond.
1433, Thomas Turnham.
1436, Hugh Cley.
1442, Thomas Turnham, by the Bishop, a lapse.
1451, Peter Newman, by the abbot.
1469, Ad. Mydylgate.
1475, William Upgate.
Rober Laudinel, occurs in 1483.
Roger Blethu, vicar
1491, Thomas Colby.
1532, John Berry.
1555, William Greneway.
1584, Richard Sadlington, by the Bishop.
1604, William Starkey. Ditto.
1661, Edmund Chetham, by Steph. Burrell, Gent.
1664, Benjamin Neede, by Giles Bladwell, Esq.
1703, John Furse, by Giles Bladwell.
Step. Norris died vicar in 1749, and George Molden presented by the King.
On a grave-stone for John Whitwell, his arms; also on one for John
Wichingham, and Brampton, and their arms.
In the church also a tomb,
For Thomas Jermy, Esq; who died 1503, and his two wives, Ann Yelverton, and Elizabeth Brampton, and their arms; and Jermy, and
Mountney, and Wroth.
Here were the guilds of St. Andrew, St. Peter, St. Mary, and the
image of our Lady of Pity in the south isle, called St Mary's chapel,
also the guild of St. John Baptist, and his chapel.
The lights of St. Andrew, his tabernacle and image, of St. Erasmus,
St. Christopher;—the Plow light of Marshgate, and that of Stowgate,
of St. Nicholas, and that of the great crucifix.