An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 1. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1805.
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OSMUNDESTON, or SCOLE,
Joins to the east part of Diss, and is bounded by the Waveny on the south: I cannot find who this Osmund was, that gave name to the town, but imagine him to be a Saxon, and owner of it. Scoles was a hamlet to Osmundeston, in the time of Edward III. and gave name to a numerous family, one of which was rector of Frenze in 1397; the ancient Institution Books have no such name, though it now stands in the last Valor. by the name of Osmondston, alias Schole, which last name prevailed about the time of King Henry VIII. when this hamlet was increased, so as to become the chief part of the town, and might first receive its name from the sholes or shallows of the river on which it is situated.
Here are two very good inns for the entertainment of travellers; the White Hart is much noted in these parts, being called, by way of distinction, Scole Inn; the house is a large brick building, adorned with imagery and carved work in several places, as big as the life. It was built in 1655, by John Peck, Esq. whose arms, impaling his wife's, are over the porch door. The sign is very large, beautified all over with a great number of images of large stature carved in wood, and was the work of one Fairchild; the arms about it are those of the chief towns and gentlemen in the county, viz. Norwich, Yarmouth, Duke of Norfolk, Earl of Yarmouth, Bacon of Garboldisham, Hobart, Cornwaleis impaling Bukton, Teye, Thurston, Castleton, and many others. Peck's arms are arg. on a chevron ingrailed gul. three croslets pattee of the field; his wife's are arg. a fess between two crescents in chief, a lion rampant in base gul. which coat I think is born by the name of Jetheston. Here was lately a very large round bed, big enough to hold fifteen or twenty couple, in imitation (I suppose) of the remarkable great bed at Ware. The house was in all things accommodated, at first, for large business; but the road not supporting it, it is in much decay at present, though there is a good bowling-green and a pretty large garden, with land sufficient for passengers horses. The business of these two inns is much supported by the annual cock-matches that are here fought.
Concerning the capital manor, I find that Ralph de Felgeres had it a long time, and at his death left it to his posterity; for in 1206, (fn. 1)
There was also another part in Osmundeston, which this Henry de Shelton united this year to the manor aforesaid, which part was held by Hugh de Corbun, of Roger Bigot; (fn. 2) and afterwards by this Henry in 1270, when the Escheat (fn. 3) tells us, that he held here, of the Earl of Arundell's fee, 100 acres of land, and 6 acres and an half of wood, a mill, and several rents of assize, by the service of half a knight's fee; at his death
Robert de Shelton, his son, inherited, who held this manor, with those of Shelton, and Bedingham, in 1286, when he had liberty of free-warren in all his manors allowed in Eire. (fn. 4)
Robert de Tateshale held in capite 3 fees (fn. 5) in Shelton, Bedingham, and Osmundeston, all which were held of him by this Robert de Shelton, and Isabel his wife, who in 1305 settled the advowson and manor on themselves for life, and their sons, Thomas and Henry, remainder to the right heirs of Robert, which Robert died seized, and then held this manor by the fourth part of a fee of Robert de Tatteshalle; from which time I find the following persons of this name to be lords and patrons:
Sir Thomas Cornwaleis, Knt. in whose time the style of the court ran thus: (fn. 6) Osmundeston, nuper Aldham's quondam Shelton's. In this noble family the manor hath ever since continued, the present Lord Cornwaleis being now  both lord and patron.
Bezile's, or Boyland's Manor,
Was that part of Osmundeston (fn. 7) that was in the Crown in King John's time, and was then worth 8l. 13s. 4d. per annum, it being an escheat of the Normans lands. This King gave it to
Almaric de Berriles (fn. 8) (or Beziles) and his heirs, in 1272, to be held of him by knight's service, in capite; the manor then was thus valued, viz. the rent of assize of the freeholders at 6l. 12s. 7d. per annum, and of the copyholders in soccage, 32s. 6d. 1q. (fn. 9) In 1206, 8th of King John, (fn. 10)Adam de Stawell herd it of that King, who had it in an escheat, it being held of Richard de Fengercs, lord of the capital manor.
Sir Aymer (or Ailmaric) died in 1279, and the escheator seized on his lands for want of an heir; (fn. 11) he was born beyond sea, as the jury affirmed, who mention Emma his wife, and Peter de Berrils, his grandson, to be living, but where, they knew not. It appears at this time, that one third of it laid in Stirston in Suffolk, and near one third in Frenze, and the rest here. The King after the seizure did not hold it long; for, in 1284, Edward I. granted in fee to
Sir Richard de Boyland, (fn. 12) and his heirs, all that Sir Aylmer de Berrill held of him here, and in Sturston, at half a knight's fee, from whom it took the name of Boyland's fee. He, jointly with Elen his wife, daughter of Phillip de Colvile, held this manor and one in Brisingham, one in North Walsham, and lands in Titshall, Wilby, and Ringsted, in the year 1295, when John was their son and heir, and 24 years old. (fn. 13) This Richard was a great lawyer, (fn. 14) and one of the justices of the King's-Bench, he left it to
John de Lowdham, who, in 1345, paid x.s. for his relief, for the manor late Sir John Boyland's called Boyland fee, from which time it continually went as Frenze manor, (fn. 15) till John Lowdham sold one moiety of it to
Thomas Cornwaleis, Knt. whose heirs purchased the other half, after many conveyances of it from Wodehouse to Gryme, and from Gryme to Rant and others; and in this family it hath continued ever since, it being now  annexed to the capital manor.
The Church is dedicated to St. Andrew the Apostle, having a square tower, and but one bell, though not long since there were five. The church, chancel, and south isle are leaded, the south porch is tiled.
This rectory is in the deanery of Redenhall, archdeaconry of Norfolk, and diocese of Norwich; valued in the King's Books at 9l. but is now discharged, being sworn of the clear yearly value of 46l. so that it is capable of augmentation, and is freed from first fruits, and tenths.
|King's Books.||Clear Value.||Synodals.||Procurations.|
|Acres Glebe.||Norw. Valuat.||Lincoln Valuat.|
|20||0||0||15 marks.||16 marks.|
Rectors. (fn. 16)
1297. John de Petrestre, rector. (fn. 17)
1352, 7 Jan. Robert Flemmyng, (fn. 18) priest, on the resignation of Richard de Walton. Ditto.
1520, 18 Sept. Richard Prior. John Shelton, Knt. (fn. 19)
1617, 6 Dec. Thomas Hall, A. M. Nathaniel Bacon, Esq. and Jane Cornwaleis, (fn. 20) patrons.
1677, 16 Oct. Luke Milbourne, (fn. 21) A.M. Car. Lord Cornwaleis.
1702, 19 Dec. The Rev. Mr. Abraham Cooper, A.M. (fn. 22) the present  rector, at Milbourne's resignation. Robert Britiff, Esq. pro hac vice.
In 1603, here were 81 communicants, and now  there are about 40 dwelling-houses, and 230 inhabitants. It paid 1l. 17s. tenths, and was allowed 7s. deductions out of it; it was rated in the parliament association at 500l. and now to the King's tax at 435l.