An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 1. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1805.
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1608, 22 Dec. John Pain presented by the Crown, the church being then full of Henry Mihell, or Michell, upon whom a citation was served to shew by what authority he held it; Febr. 8, Pain was instituted, by lapse to the King: Mihell having voided it.
1713, 3 Nov. The Rev. Mr. James Whaley, A.M. the present  rector, on Barnes's death. Bassingbourn Gawdy, Bart. for this turn; it was then united to Gnateshall, but now he holds it united to West-Herling: the Lady Drury, relict of Sir Robert, is now patroness.
This town is called in Domesday, Redelefuuorda, that is, the [ford], or village abounding with reeds; it belonged to Orgar, a freeman at the Confessor's survey, and to Humfry, son of Alberic, at the Conqueror's, who had only this in the county; it always had a carucate in demean, and was half a league long and as much broad, and paid xi.d. ob. geld. (fn. 1)
Henry de Bathonia, justice itinerant, and Philip de Flegg released his right to him. Aliva de Bathonia, relict of Henry, died in 1273, leaving it to John, her son and heir. Nic. de Yatingdon was her second husband. In 1276, this John was summoned to attend King Edward I. in his expedition against the Welsh; in 1290, he held it of Remigius de Melding, and John de Bathun was his son and heir, who married Eleanor, daughter and coheir of Jeffry de Auncell, and dying this year, left only Joan, their daughter and heiress, 28 years old, married to John de Bohun, or Boon, it being settled in trust, at their marriage, on Humfry de Bohun, who released it to John de Bohun, at John de Bathonia's death. In 1279, it was held of Simon de Furneaux, as of his manor of Midle-Herling, who held it of Rob. de Montealt, and he of Remigius de Melding; at John de Bohun's death, Joan his widow, had it for life; she died in in 1316, and left John de Boon, her son and heir. In 1330,
Tho. le-Archer, rector of Elmsete, and Richard his brother, were lords; and this year they settled it by fine on Roger le-Archer of Floketon, and Agnes his wife, and Roger their son, with remainders to Thomas and Agnes, their brother and sister; I suppose Agnes the mother was heiress to John de Bohun. In 1341,
In 1345, he is said to hold it of Tregoz, and he of the King, it being the quarter of a fee, formerly Humfry de Boon's. In 1375, Alexandrina aforesaid, then a widow, had it, who was dead before 1384, for then
John Roos, Knt. presented, and had it, as I imagine, in right of Beatrice his wife, the heiress of Roger le-Archer, who presented in 1393, being then a widow; at her death their two daughters inherited,
Cecilia, to Christopher L'Estrange, Esq. on whom it was settled by fine, for their lives, remainder to Tho. Sakevyle, and Anne his wife, and their heirs, it being now held of Tho. Rokes, Esq. who held it of John Duke of Bedford, as parcel of Richmond honour.
Tho. Rookes, son of the said Thomas, became lord and patron about 1456, whether in right of Elizabeth his wife, or no, I cannot say, and so continued to 1515, and then sold it, and levied a fine to Sir William Waldegrave and Sir Philip Calthorp, Knts. From which families it came to the
Drurys, (fn. 2) who took their name from a village in Normandy, whence their ancestor came with William the Conqueror, and had no other name than that of Drury; his son, John Drury, Esq. settled at Thurston in the county of Suffolk, at which place John, his son, Henry, his grandson, and John, his great-grandson, lived many years: Henry Drury of Thurston, Esq. son of the last John, had two wives; by Hawise Greene of Barkway, his first wife, he had three sons, the two youngest of which, viz. Nigell was sheriff of London, and Sir Roger was parson of Bradfield in Suffolk; John Drury, of Thurston, Esq. the eldest son and heir, married Amable, daughter of Tho. Newton, by whom he had Sir Roger Drury, parson of Beketon, and Nicholas Drury of Thurston, Esq. his eldest son and heir, who married Joan, daughter and heir of Sir Simon Saxham, of Thurston aforesaid, by whom he had three sons; Sir Roger Drury, of Rougham in Suffolk, Knt. was his eldest son; he and his descendants bore the paternal coat, as it had hitherto been always born, without a cross tau, but with a label of three points, as the cognizance of the eldest branch; John Drury, the third son, bore the same arms, with his proper difference; Nicholas Drury of Saxham, the second son, went to the Holy Land, at which time he added the cross tau to his arms, which he ever after bore, as did all his descendants; he married Joan Heath of Mildenhall, by whom he had two sons, Henry Drury of Ickworth, Esq. his eldest son, and Roger Drury of Hausted in Suffolk, his second son, who had three wives; by Amy, his first wife, he had no issue; Anne, his third wife, was daughter and coheir of William Hanningfield of Suffolk; and by Felice, daughter of William Denston of Besthorp in Norfolk, he had three sons and one daughter, viz. John, his eldest son, Will. Drury of Besthorp, his second son, from whom descended the Drurys of Besthorp, (as may be seen at large under Besthorp,) Catharine, married to Sir Henry L'Estrange of Hunstanton, and Sir Robert Drury of Halsted, or Hausted Knt. Privy-counsellor to King Henry VII.; his third son, who married Anne, eldest daughter of Sir William Calthorp, Knt. from whom the Drurys of Ridlesworth are descended, as the following pedigree will demonstrate. (fn. 3)
The Customs are these: the eldest son is heir; the fine is at the lord's will. This manor is become very small, the whole town being purchased in, so that there are not above 4 or 5 acres held by copy of court roll of it.
The Leet belongs to the hundred, the leet fee being 2s. and all liberties belong to the leet, the lords of this manor never claiming any, it not being once named in the returns to the quo warrantos. The manor pays a rent of 7s. per annum to the Duke of Norfolk, as to his hundred of Gyltcross: there was a rent of 1d. a year paid to the lord of Midle-Herling manor, (fn. 4) of which it is held, by the said payment and suit of court, for which Tho. Sakvyle, lord of Ridlesworth, in 1472, was distrained, as was Sir Drue Drury, Knt. in 1589, and again in 1598, when he had two horses seized for this and other rents, for lands that he held in Ridlesworth.
The family sirnamed De Redelesworth, is very ancient, and had a good estate here, and in Gatesthorp, where they were sometime lords; they bore for their coat armour, vert, a bull passant or. Crest, a boar's head cooped sab. an oaken branch in its mouth proper, the acorns or.
In the Hall there are several family pictures, some of which are much injured, and a curious old painting on board, containing ten persons, each having his arms, or a cipher over his head, and an inscription at his feet.
Sir William Drurye, Lord Cheefe Justice of Irelande, by whom hangs an old plan of Edinburgh castle, and two armies before it, round which is this: "Sir William Drurye, Knt. General of the Englishe wanne Edenburghe-Castle, 1573." On the picture is this, "Sir William Drurye, Knt. Marshall of Barwicke, Lord Generall of this Jorny, and after Lord President of Munster, and lastly died Lord Justice of Irland, Ao 1579." The crest and arms of Drury without the tau, with fourteen coats, all which are imperfect.
Mr. Henry Killigray, ambassadour; Killegrew's arms; Sir Geo. Carie, Knt. Sir Tho. Cecill, eldest sonne to the Lord Burly; Sir Francis Trusbill, Knt.; Sir Henry Lee, Knt.; Mr. Michael Carie; Mr. Henry Carie; Mr. Will. Knowles, after Knight; Mr. Dieyr; Mr. Cotton; Mr. Tho. Sutton; Mr. Kelwaye; Sir William Selbye; Mr. Tilney; Sir William Killegray.
Sir Walter Mildmay, Knt. Æt. 52, 153-- Virtute non Vi. Sir Francis Russell, Sir Robert Bell, Lord Chief Baron, Æt. 41. Lady St. John, 1599. Lady Catharine Countess of Huntington. A picture of one of the Jermyn family on which, crest, a talbot passant collared or, on a torce ar. and sab.
Sardanapalus ait, pereunt mortalia cuncta, Ut crepitu — — podice disiliens Quæ pereunt — fugiuntque similima Fumo: Aurea quam — Nil nisi fumus erunt, At mens culta viro, post Funera clarior Extat — vana volat.
Drury, with the tau, quartering Finch, ar. a chevron between three griffins passant sab. and Waldegrave, with a mullet sab. impaling Derham, quartering Gul. a chevron vair sab. and arg. between three crowns of the second.
The Church is dedicated to St. Peter; it hath a square tower and one bell; the nave and south porch are thatched, the chancel tiled. In 1474, Thomas Nelde of this town held three acres freehold of Midle-Herling manor, to the use of this parish, to repair the church for ever.
Memoriæ Sacræ ROBERTI DRURY, BARONETTI, Filij DRUGONIS DRURY, BAROJNETTI, antiquâ Prosapiâ oriundi, multis Retro Sæculis præclarâ Ingenij Dotibus ornati Politiore Literaturâ imbuti, Tres Duxit uxores, Tertia fuit DIANA, Filia GEORGIJ VILET, de Pinkney-Hall in Comimitatu Norfolciæ Armigeri, Quæ Pietate verâ, et Amore conjugali, hoc Monumentum posuit, obijt Vegessimo Septimo Die Aprilis, Anno Domini 1712, Ætatis suæ 78°. (fn. 5)
Here lyeth the Body of Dame ELINOR DRURY, 2d Daughter of Sam: Harsnet of Great Fransham in Norfolk, Esq; the Relict of Will: Marsham of Stratton-Strawley, Gent. the second Wife of Sir Robert Drury of Ridlesworth in the County of Norff. Bart, who was unfortunately kill'd in the fatal Hurricane, Nov. the 27th in the Year of our Lord, 1703. (fn. 6)
In Memory of the pious and virtuous Mrs. MARY FISHER, whose Soul took her Flight to Heaven in the furious Hurricane, on Nov. the 27th 1703: This Monument of Respect is dedicated, by her true and faithfull Lover ANTHONY DRURY, of Mendham in Norfolk, Gent: (fn. 7)
THOMAS BARNES, late Minister of this Parish, who died Oct. 29, 1713, aged 74. "He was a Person of a just, loyal, charitable, friendly, and quiet Disposition, for which, by his Life Time, he was universally beloved, and at his Death equally lamented." (fn. 8)
Against the north chancel wall is a fine monument for Sir Drue Drury, whose effigies is in armour in a kneeling posture, under a canopy supported by two angels; a book lies on a desk before him; the monument being adorned with the following arms.
Condignæ Famæ & Memoriæ sacrum, nobilis et illustris Viri DRUGONIS DRURY, Militis, Filij tertij, Roberti Drury de Egerly in Comitatu Buckingham, Filij secundi Roberti Drury de Hasted in Comitatu Suffolke, Militum, Reginæ ELIZABETHÆ a primo Regni Anno, solius Silentiarij, Deinde JACOBO Regi nostro, & Anno 1596, Præsidis Turris Londinensis, (Annos nonaginta Novem, summa cum Laude, et Integritate complevit) bis Conjugio connexi, primo Dominæ Elizœ: Woodhouse Filiæ Phillippi Culthorp, Militis, secundo, Katharinœ Finch Filiæ & Hæredi Gulielmi Finch de Linsted in Com: Cant: Ar: per secundam uxorem relictæ, DRUGO DRURY, unicus Filius ejus, Uxorem duxit Annam Ætate primam, et unam ex Cohæredibus Edwardi Waldgrave de Lawford in Comitatu Essex, Armig: Elizabetha prima ejus Filia, nupta fuit venerabili Thomœ Wingefield Militi, de Leveringham in Comitatu Suffolke, Anna Filia secunda, Johanni Deane de Deane Aula Comitat: Essex prædicto, et Francesca Filia tertia, Roberto Botler de Woodhall in Comitat: Hertford: Militibus, ipse DRUGO DRURY Miles præclarus, singulari Integritate, Pietate, Virtute, (et nulli in Terris inferior) Charitate, præcipue præcellens, apud Riddlesworth in Comitatu Norfolke, 29 Aprilis 1617, Mortem [obijt.] (fn. 9)
Reponuntur hic Reliquiæ, DRUGONIS DRURII, primi hujus Familiæ Baronetti, Filij et Hæredis DRUGONIS DRURII Equitis Aurati, qui post 24cr Connubij sui cum Anna Waldegrave prædilecta sua Uxore evolutos soles, Triplici (ex octo Natis) tenera et in Minoritate, multæ tamen plena Spei superstite sobole, Drugone, Gulielmo, & Catherina, in 44to Perigrinationis suæ Anno, ex hac Miseriarum Eremo, 1632, in Cœlestem migravit Patriam, multiplici quin & Candida, Mundo Amicisque valde lugentibus, relicta fama, magnæ suæ erga Deum veramque Religionem Pietatis, assiduæ et laboriosæ pro Republica Curæ, ac integerrimæ versus Amicos, interiores præsertim ac vicinos, Fidelitatis. (fn. 10)
Hic jacet RICARDUS ATTWOOD, A. M. Vir doctus, beneficus, pius, in Rebus ludicris egregie lepidus fuit et Elegans in Serijs perspicax valde et acutus. Totum fere Tempus optimarum Literarum Studijs, Horas vere succisivas, sæpiuscule Pisciculis captandis absumpsit, Ita in Negotio laudandus erat maxime, in Otio minime culpandus, Aulœ Pembrochianœ socius fuit senior, Academiæ Cantabrigiensis Bedellus Armiger, Utriusque Grande Decus et Ornamentum; Febre correptus vehementi, non sine ingenti omnium, quibus familiariter usus est, luctu, sedaté placideque extremum Halitum in hoc Pago efflavit, Maij 3, 1734, Ætatis 56.