An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 1. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1805.
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The Church and Gild here were dedicated to the Blessed Virgin; it was a rectory (fn. 1) appropriated by John of Oxford, Bishop of Norwich, to Butley priory, (fn. 2) who were patrons, it being given them by King Henry I at their founder's request, before he gave the manor to the Fitz-Walters. In 1293, their temporals were taxed at 26s 6d. and their spirituals at 17l. 6s. 8d. The impropriation was confirmed by the archbishop, and the vicar had a pension of 26s. 8d. payable by the prior, out of the great tithes, all which were afterwards disappropriated, by the prior and convent's resigning up the church and tithes, and presenting a rector. In 1510, upon Drayles's institution, a pension of 40s. per annum was reserved to the prior out of the rectory. The lands that belonged to the priory were granted by Queen Elizabeth to different persons, some to Edward Dyer, Hugh Cressiner, and others.
Rectors and Vicars.
1299, 2 kal. Mar. The rectory was void, and a sequestration granted to Adam de Cokefield, (fn. 3) who was presented to it, with this clause, that the bishop might recall it when he pleased.
1304, 5 ides June, Richard de Schadenfield, priest, was instituted to the vicarage, with certain portions newly assigned by the Bishop, at the presentation of the Prior of Butley, who presented the following vicars:
1433, (fn. 4) 18 Apr. Robert Syre, priest, was instituted to the rectory, saving to William Smyth his right as vicar; Syre held the rectory single to 1436, and then resigned, and the prior presented Smyth to the rectory, from which time it hath continued a rectory to this day. The prior presented the following rectors:
1466, 1 May, William Keene, (fn. 5) at Bukk's death.
1546, 20 Aug. Ralph Pyllyng, chaplain, was presented by Thomas Mildmay, Esq. one of the King's Auditors, who had this turn from Nicholas Arrowsmith, Esq. who had it by grant from the prior, before the house was dissolved.
1550, 24 May, John Deane, (fn. 6) or Deen, priest, presented by King Edward VI. from which time the following rectors have been presented by the Crown, in which the patronage now remains.
1626, 12 March, Hugh More, A. M. was instituted, being ordained priest this year, Jan. 12, by Theophilus Bishop of Llandaff; he subscribed Aug. 16, 1662, having held it the whole time of the rebellion.
In 1475, Reginald Smethe, chaplain, was buried in this church, and gave 40s. to peynte a candle beme therein. (fn. 7)
Burston at first (fn. 8) was in three parts, though the whole was held of Robert Mallet, lord of the honour of Eye, successour of Edric, under whom Aculf, a freeman, had one part in the Confessor's time, which in the Conqueror's was held by Walter, who now had another part, which Moithar held in King Edward's days. The third part was Leofric of Torendun's, which the Conqueror gave to his Queen, she to Robert Mallet, and he to his mother, who now had it: the whole town then was two miles long, and one mile broad, and paid 12d. to the Geld.
These parcels soon after became two manors, one called Brockdish Hall, from a family of that name; the other Meauling's Hall, from Peter de Meauling, or Melding, lord thereof, and now by corruption Milding Hall, both being always held of Eye honour.
The manor of Brockdish Hall
Sir Stephen de Brokedysh, whose heir enjoyed it in 1327. This Stephen purchased lands to this manor, of Ernold de Monteney, and had view of frankpledge allowed him in 1286, and assize of bread and beer.
Stephen, son and heir of Sir Stephen, purchased divers lands and tenements, to be held at 10s. per annum rent, lying in Burston, Thelveton, and Brisingham, to be held of Hugh de Vere, and Dionise his wife; Gilbert Prior of Butley gave him 3 acres of land for life, (fn. 9) parcel of that land which Alfwet Cnot, and William, son of Edmer, gave to that convent, viz. the whole tenement that Wybart, the parson of Burston, held of them and their ancestors anno 1307; he left
Reginald his son and heir. In 1380, William Ufford Earl of Suffolk, as lord of Eye honour, claimed the fines and amerciaments of his tenants in Burston and elsewhere, in the half hundred of Diss, where Walter le Fitz-Wauter of Wodeham was lord, as being the capital lord of whom this manor was held. I cannot find how it went from the Brockdish family; but it was in the
John Lancaster of Brisingham, and went (fn. 10) as Boyland Hall, till about 1500, when it was aliened to
Will. Tyler, or Tylot, and his heirs, to be held as formerly, by the service of a red rose yearly, payable to the Duke of Suffolk, to his honour of Eye. In 1518, this Sir John Sharpe, Kt. and Wm. Tyler, Knt. &c. lords of Brockdish Hall, and John Millegate, Prior of the priory of the holy Virgin, and St. James the Apostle of Old Bokenham, and the convent there, lords of the manor of Meldynghall, agreed to divide the two manors, which having for a long time been farmed together, were now so intermixed, that they knew not their separate rights; wherefore they got two books in indented bindings, the one having the convent seal affixed thereto, and the other the seals of the two knights, &c. in these the division was entered, and the one was delivered to the prior, and the other to Sir John Sharpe, &c. which is now among the evidences of the manor, from which I collected, that Meldyng Hall abuts on Knot's Lane north; the demeans were about 137 acres, copyhold held of it 439 acres, the quitrents about 18l. per annum. Brokedysh Hall abuts upon Northgate Green north, and was then, with 13 acres adjoining, copyhold; this manor was about half the value of Meldyng Hall, John Mellegate, prior, Tho. Beverly, sub-prior, and Tho. Browne, sacrist, signed it. Brockdish Hall paid then 10s. per annum freerent to Winfarthing: it appears that
John Buxton of St. Margaret's, who finding no license for the alienation from Bolton to Proctor, was forced to get a royal pardon, (fn. 11) from which time both these manors have been in that family, Elizabeth Buxton, a minor, being now lady [1736.]
Melding Hall manor
Was purchased by Sir Peter de Meauling, or Melding, of King Henry I. to be held by this serjeantry of service, that the owner of it should always sell the beasts taken in Norfolk or Suffolk for the King's debts; it was then valued at 8l. per annum.
Sir Robert du Bois of Fersfield, reserving a rent of 4l. and the service of a quarter of knight's fee, the whole of which he gave with his sister in marriage to Reginald de Nuttun; for which alienation the King seized the serjeantry, which was taken off this manor when it was sold, and laid on Meling manor in Suffolk, according to a feoffment made by this Peter de Meling to Laurence de Meling; but he gave them the value in exchange. Sir Robert du Bois, senior, left it to
Sir Robert his son, (fn. 12) who gave it to
Robert Carbonel, Knt. and Margery his wife, had it, and John was his son and heir, 14 years old; Robert died seized this year, on the 24th of Sept. to which Mr. Le Neve's Collections agree, though he says it had been out of the Carbonel family in that time, and was the inheritance of
Sir Roger Swillington of Ditchingham, and Joan his wife; he died seized of this and Old Hall manor, in Swillington in Yorkshire, and soon after his wife died also, upon which, the King received the homage of
Sir John Graa, Knt. had two parts of the manor, in right of Margaret his wife, sister of Sir John Swillington; all which was mortgaged to Thomas Murstede, Esq. for 200 marks. From this time to 1454 I know nothing of it; but in that year
Bokenham Priory; for it appears from the Book of Accompts of that house, that this manor belonged to it, and in 1479 was let at 15l. 10s. at which time the prior hired the other manor, at 5l. 10s. per annum, and let them together; and from this time it continued in the convent till its dissolution, and then went to the
Mr. Le Neve says, there was a manor here, (which was this, as I take it,) that all along attended the fate of the Albanies of Bokenham castle, from whom it came to the Orrebys; John of that sirname had it in 1315; from thence to the Cailys, and so to the Cliftons, and was settled by Sir John Clifton, Knt. in 1447, by his will, on Joan his wife, and her heirs, whose daughter Margaret married Sir Andrew Ogard, Knt. of the Rye in Hertfordshire, who died seized as aforesaid.
This might be held of them as capital lords, under Eye honour, till the whole fee came to Sir Andrew, about 1450, whether by marriage, purchase, or descent, I cannot learn. The ancient family of Burston of Burston, bears,