An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 1. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1805.
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This town never had but one manor, of which Ulf, a freeman, was lord in the time of the Confessor, when it was valued at 20s.; at the Conquest it was given to R. de Bellofago (or Beaufo) who gave it to Caurincus, who held it of him at the survey, when it had 3 carucates of land in demean, worth 30s. and was a mile long, and a mile broad, and paid 6d. ob. 1q. Danegeld. (fn. 1) The descendants of this Caurincus assumed to themselves the sirname of Herkeham, Harcham, Hargham, or Harpham, for their name, as well as that of the town, was oftentimes spelled different, according to the age it was wrote in. This family soon became very numerous, for in Henry the First's time there were three several branches of it in good repute; but I shall only take notice of the eldest family, which all along held the manor; and the oldest that I meet with is William de Herkeham, (fn. 2) whose son, Tho de Harcham, succeeded him; Henry de Harcham, his son, sealed with a lion saliant, as did Thomas de Harcham, (fn. 3) his son, whose son, William de Harcham, was lord in 1249, and conveyed the manors and advowsons of Swantone and Harugham to Thomas his son for life, in 1279; and afterwards the said William granted it to Sir Warine, (fn. 4) son of Thomas de Hereford, or Herforth of Swanthone, and his heirs, Sir John de Eschalers, Knt. and others being witnesses; and immediately after, the said Warine gave this and Swantone manors and advowsons to Henry de Herford, his brother, for life, on condition that he should perform all the services due to the lords of the fees, during the time he enjoyed them, and in particular the castle-ward due for the fee of Hockering. This deed is dated at Gressenhall, on the kalends of October, 1279. This Henry, before 1313, conveyed the advowson to John de Herford, of Swanton-Marshall, (now called Swanton-Morley,) his brother, who presented Adam de Herford, another brother, after which it was reconveyed to him again, and settled on Mabell his mother, then wife of Tho. de Lavenham, for her life, and they presented in 1330. In 1345, (fn. 5) 20th Edward III. the said Thomas settled all his manors of Swanington, Badburgham (now Babram) in Cambridgeshire, and Hargham, with the advowson of Hargham, after his mother's death, on Maud de Lancaster Countess of Ulster, (fn. 6) Nicholas Gernon, John Casteleyn, her trustees, and John, son of Warine de Herford, and Mabell his wife, who was brother and heir to Henry, released their right, so that the fee became vested in Maud de Lancaster, relict of Will, de Burgh Earl of Ulster, who obtained leave of King Edward III. at the intercession of Henry Earl of Lancaster, her brother, to found a chantry, of a master and four chaplains, in the chapel of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin, in the priory church belonging to the nuns at Campesse in Suffolk, to the laud and honour of God, and the Holy Virgin, for the souls of William de Burgh, formerly Earl of Ulster, her first husband, and of Ralph de Ufford, her second husband, who is buried in the said chapel, and of Elizabeth de Burgh and Maud de Ufford, her daughters, and also for her own soul, and those of John de Ufford and Thomas de Hereford, or Herford, Knts. then living, that is, for their welfare when alive, and their souls when dead; and in order to endow it, the King granted license to the prioress and nuns of Campesse, (fn. 7) to receive and hold in mortmain the advowsons of the churches of Burgh in Suffolk and Hargham in Norfolk, of the gift of the said Countess, and to assign them to the custos of the said chantry for ever, with license to appropriate them to the custos and chaplains for ever, for their maintenance. (fn. 8) But, about 1355, she obtained a confirmation under the broad seal, of certain letters patent, under the seals of William Bishop of Norwich, of the prioress of Campseye, and chaplains of Bruseyerd chantry, in which it was declared, that the religious lady, Maud de Lancaster, then nun of the collegiate church of Campesse, and late Countess of Ulster, having founded the said chaplains, to reside in Ashe, and serve in the priory church at Campesse, (fn. 9) which was too great a distance, they all agreed to remove the chantry to Brusyerd, to the manor-house called Rokhalle, where the chaplains did, and do now, dwell; and whereas it was certified by Lionel Duke of Clarence and Earl of Ulster, that the chaplains went in secular habits, neglected their office, and wasted the revenues of the chantry, they all gave him leave to appropriate all the revenues of the chantry to sustain an abbess, and other religious women, of the order of St. Clare, in Rokehall, in Brusyerd aforesaid, and to erect an abbey, and endow it with whatever belonged to the chantry; upon which the abbey was erected, and this advowson transferred to the abbess, who presented to the Dissolution. And in 1376, the King licensed Sir William de Wychingham, Knt. Sir Nicholas Gernon, Knt. and Roger Wolferston, to give the manor of Hargham, which was then held of the Lord William Morley, as of his manor of Hockering, at one fee, as parcel of his barony of Rhye, and the capital messuage, 160 acres of land, 3 acres of meadow, 10 acres of pasture, and 20s. rent, in North and South, Reppes, Cromere, Thorp, and Gimingham, to Emme Beauchamp, then abbess of Brusyerd, and her successours for ever; and William de Morley, Marshal of Ireland, released the services and fealty doe from that fee, to the abbess; and from this time the manor and advowson belonged to that abbey till its dissolution, and was then granted, in 1538, by the King, together with the advowson, and all other lands belonging to the abbey lying in Hargham, or Harpham, (fn. 10) 10
Nicholas Hare, and Katherine his wife, (fn. 11) and their heirs, to be held in capite, at half a knight's fee; and in 1539, Nicholas Hare aforesaid, Esq. had license to sell the whole to John Green, and his heirs, who had a great estate in Wilby, Snitterton, Banham, Attleburgh, Hargham, Old-Bukenham, and Kenninghall, who in 1548, settled it by the King's license, on Tho. Green, his son, who in the same year made a jointure of it to Frances his wife, who held it to her death in 1580, and then it descended equally among their daughters and coheirs; Rose, then married to Paul Gooch, Gent, of Bamham; Prudence, to John Launce; Susan, Elizabeth, and Thomasine being single, and under age, were under the care of the Court of Wards. In 1583, Paul Gooche, and Rose his wife, John Launce of Halesworth, and Prudence his wife, William Brook of Eston in Suffolk, and Susan his wife, Thomas Colby of Banham, Gent, and Elizabeth his wife, and William Hunston of Walsokne in Norfolk, and Thomasine his wife, were possessed each of a fifth part, and Paul Gooch hired the whole. In 1584, Tho. Colby had license to purchase the fifth part of the manor and advowson of William Hunston, and Thomasine his wife, and in the same year had license to sell two fifth parts of the manor and advowson, to Francis Bolton, and John Goldyngham of Banham, and the heirs of Bolton; and in 1586, they all joined, and conveyed the whole absolutely to Paul Gooch and his heirs, who, in 1587, sold the whole to Henry Gurnay, Esq. who sold it to Richard Hovell, junr. Esq. of Hillington, and he to Sir Ralph Hare, Knt. who settled it in 1620 on Sir Tho. Coventrye, Knt. upon the marriage of his son with Sir Thomas's daughter, from which time it hath passed in the Hares, as the following pedigree will demonstrate.
The Customs were these; the eldest son was heir; the fines were at the lord's will, and it gave no dower; the leet belonged to the hundred; the leet fee 1s. 4d.; but now there is neither leet nor tenants, the whole being exchanged and manumised, or in the lord's own hands.
This rectory is valued in the King's Books at 4l. 4s. 2d. and being sworn of the clear yearly value of 34l. 1s. 8d. it is discharged of first fruits and tenths, though it pays yearly 1s. 3d. synodals, and 3s. procurations. It hath a rectory-house, and 30 acres, 2 roods, and an half of glebe. (fn. 12)
It is a small village, the whole (except one farm) being purchased by the lords, hath reduced it to 6 houses, and about 50 inhabitants, though it had 55 communicants in 1603; it paid 30s. a year to the tenths, and is now assessed at 230l. to the land tax.
At the entrance of the south door, on two small brass plates, (fn. 13)
Orate pro anima Chome Gall, (fn. 13) cuius anime propicietur Deus.
On a black marble before the desk,
XXVIIIvo. die Augusti, Anno Domini Mdccxxviii. obijt Henricus Pitts Clericus, Coll: Divi Johannis Evang: Cantabr: A. B. hujus Ecclesiæ parochialis de Hargham, per Ann. XL. Rector, Ecclesiæ de Rowdham per annos XVII Vicarius, Vir in omni Doctrinæ Genere Eruditus, omnibus Honestus, sic vixit, sic mortuus est; Hic, Lector, optimum habes Exemplar, Abi igitur, et tu fac Similiter.
Vere, Howard, Verdon, Beauchamp, St.George, Branch; and these; arg. a fess gul. between three birds sab. three fusils in fess. Arg. three lozenges gul. a lion rampant arg. on a fess gul. three plates. Az. a cross ingrailed arg. Quarterly arg. and gul. in the second and third quarters a frette arg. over all a bend sab. Arg. two bars az. Az. three cinquefoils arg. Gul. six roses 3, 2, 1, arg.
Spe Resurrectionis, hic subtus jacet Nicholaus Hare Armiger, ê quinque Filijs Johannis Hare de Stow Bardolph, in agro Norff: Militis, et Elizabethæ Filiæ primæ, Thomæ Domini Coventrij, Baronis de Allesborough, Magni Sigilli Angliæ Custodis, Quartus et Superstes, Katherinam Filiam, Gulielmi Geary de Bushmead, in Comitatu Bedfordiæ Armigeri primogenitam, Uxorem duxit, E quâ Prolem Solam e Cunabulis superstitem, Radulphum, hujus Marmoris Positorem, suscitavit, et post triginta fere annos castæ Viduitatis, Exuvias suas apud Hargham, deposuit, xv. Novembris Anno Salutis MDCLXXXIX, Ætatis suæ LVII jam exeunte, Rarum Maritatis et paterni amoris Exemplum.
Hic requiescit in Domino, RADOLPHUS HARE Armiger, NICHOLAI Patris et KATHERINÆ Matris, Filius unicus et Hæres, duxit in Uxorem ANNAM Domini JOHANNIS WILLIS de Ditton in Agro Cantabrigiensi Baronetti, Filiam natù maximam, Cui sex Filij, totidemque Filiæ nati, octo superstites sunt; Vir probus, pius, et doctus, Legibus Regni Municipalibus acurate peritus, proindeque clarissimo interioris Templi Londinensis Hospitio, in illustrem Assessorum Societatem merito evectus est, Anno 1706, Cumque Dei Opt: Max: Cultorem devotissimum Religionis reformatæ in Ecclesiâ Anglicanâ, Propugnatorem strenuum, regiæ Majestati, subditum fidelissimum, serenissimis Principibus GULIELMO et MARIA ANNAQUE regnantibus, Pacis Conservatorem vigilantissimum (eximia cum Laude et Honore) diù sese præstitisset, incurabilis tandem Febris Rabie, subito correptus, Ex hac miserâ in æternam Vitam fæliciter emigravit, decimo sexto die Novembris, anno Ætatis suæ 52° Redemptionis nostræ 1709.
ALICIA HARE, Johannis Hare Militis, et Dominæ Elizabethæ Uxoris, Filia Natû minima, Inter charissimum Fratrem Nicholaum et Nepotem Radulphum, hic jacet sepulta, Quæ dum vixit, Pietatis in Deum, Charitatis in Egenos, Sexus sui extitit laudabile Exemplar, Nata apud Stow Bardolph, et ibidem baptizata, 12 Septembris, 1637, et in hac Villa denata, 26 Aprilis 1713, Ætatis suæ 76,
P.M.S. ANNÆ, Viduæ et Relictæ, RADODPHI HARE de Hargham Armigeri, Filiæ natu maximæ Domini JOHANNIS WILLIS, de Ditton in Agro Cantabrigiensi Baronetti; eidem RADOLPHO, per XVIII Annos desponsatæ, quem Prole duodena beavit, Thoma, Maria, Anna, Susanna, Johanne, Radolpho, Nicholao, Catherina, Margareta, Radolpho, Johanne, Elizabetha, Equibus Johannes, Radolphusque priores, ut et Nicholaus, Catherina, et Margareta, Vita functi sunt, Cæteri septem supersunt. Quæ ANNA, postquam Annos XIX Maritum supervixisset, tandem die XXV° Septembris A. D. MDCCXXVIII°, Animam Deo reddidit, Anno Ætatis suæ LVII° currente. Stirpe clara, Dotibus clarior, Pietate clarissima, Religionis pure Christianæ, Dogmata Verbis tueri, Præcepta Factis ornare, perita, assueta. Fidelissima Conjux amantissimaque; Vidua, non abscedens a Templo, diu noctuque Deum colens; Parens indulgentissima; Mater-familias prudentissima; omnibus benigna, proindeque deflenda. In cujus Memoriam ANNA, Filia mœstissima, Testamenti Executrix, hunc Lapidem P.F. A.D. MDCCXXX°.
Suppositæ hic jacent THOMÆ HARE Armigeri, hujus Parochiæ, et Domini et Patroni, Vir Pius, et vere honestus, hinc Morte subita abreptus, Spe haud incerta, ad beatam Resurrectionis Vitam. Cujus Memoriam hoc Monumento mandavit, MARIA, Uxor Charissima, obijt vicesimo die Decembris Ano Dom Mdccxxxvi°. Ætatis suæ xlv°.
1581, Thomas Chapman, clerk, and Margery Mean, married. 1587, Ant. son of Paul Gooch, Gent, and Rose his wife, bapt. 1592, John Mounteforte, Gent, and Elizabeth Butler, Gentlewoman, married. 1593, Edw. Green, Gent, buried. 1674, Robert Steward, Gent, buried. 1681, Henry Warner, Gent, buried. 1660, collected 2s. 2d. for the burning of Fakenham in Norfolk. 1662, the burning of Beccles in Suffolk. 1682, Mrs. Catherine Warner paid for burial of her husband in the chancel.
1347, 23 May, Pain de Sancto Claro, (fn. 14) chaplain. The Prioress of Campesse.
1376, 25 July, John Kenfleg, (fn. 15) priest. The Abbess of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Buresyerd.
1666, 11 June, Henry Gill, (fn. 16) A. B. on Leader's resignation. Nicholas Hare, Esq.