An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 10. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1809.
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The greatest part of this town was possessed by the Conqueror, and Godric his steward took care of it. Hagan, a thane, or Saxon nobleman of King Edward the Confessor, was then lord of it, and under the commendation of Stigand the Archbishop of Canterbury.
This Hagan, or Hacun, was son of Swane, (eldest son of Earl Godwin) and nephew of King Harold, and was deprived of it, consisting of 2 carucates of land, 4 villains, &c. 4 borderers, 3 servi, and 5 carucates in demean, 2 carucates and a half of the tenants, &c. and 8 acres of meadow, and there was a saddle horse kept at the hall, and one cow. In Hacun's time there also belonged to it 6 socmen with all their customary dues, and afterwards there were 26; twenty of these were added by Ralph Earl of Norfolk, with the soc of the fold, and among all them were 80 acres and 5 carucates, &c. by this it appears that Earl Ralph had an interest by grant of the Conqueror, which he forfeited before the grand survey.
In the same town were 5 freemen; of 3 of these Hagan had the commendation, and of the other 2 Algar (Earl of of Mercia) had it, who were also deprived; and in Wooton a freeman under the protection of Godwin. Among all these there was a carucate and an half of land, 12 borderers, and 5 carucates and 4 acres of meadow, the whole valued in King Edward's time at 4l. at the survey it paid a quitrent of 8l. and 20s. as a fine or income; of the 8l. six freemen pay 27s. 4d. it was one leuca long, and half a one broad; the gelt 6d King Edward had the soc of these freemen, and Ralph Earl of Norfolk held it unjustly, at the time of his outlawry. (fn. 1)
How long these tenures were in the Crown does not appear, but in the reign of Henry II. Hugh de Gournay was lord; and in the beginning of King John's reign, Hugh de Gournay, a Norman baron (see in Castor, Flegg hundred) gave it to Nicholas de Stutvile with Gunnora his daughter in marriage: Nicholas was soon after disseised of it, as land of the Normans, for their rebellion in 1205, by King John; who in the next year, restored to Nicholas the son, all that his father Nicholas had been deprived of.
At the seisure of the manor and stock, it was assigned to Walter de Cantelupe, during the King's pleasure.
In the 5th of Henry III. there was an inquisition concerning the patronage of this church, whether it belonged to the King or Nicholas, as King John on the seizure before said had presented John de Brancastre to this church, (fn. 2) but it was now restored to Nicholas; and in the 23d of the said King, Nicholas impleaded the prior of Walsingham on the same account; the prior pleaded the grant of it from Hubert de Burgh Earl of Kent, who being called to warrant it, proved his right, by the grant of Nicholas de Stutevile, his father: this pleading is said to have been held at St. Bride's in London. Rot. 4, in dorso.
John de Stutvile, son of Nicholas, was lord in the 41st of Henry III. when Simon de Greynvil, and Alice his wife, recovered her dower as late widow of Nicholas de Stutevile.
Sir Nicholas de Stutvile granted in the 16th of Edward I. this lord ship to Nicholas de Castello and his heirs, to be held by one knight's fee; and in the 28th of that King, purchased by fine 9 messuages, 75 acres of land, the fourth part of a mill in this town and Wotton of Richard Cosyn and Margaret his wife, and in the 31st, Greg. de Castello was a trustee of Nicholas de Castello and Cecilia his wife.
In the 3d of Edward II. Greg. de Castello, of Raveningham, had a charter of free-warren, and in the 11th of that King, Greg, de Castello and Eufemia his wife, settled this lordship in tail on Nicholas his son and Christiana his wife, daughter of Jeff. de Meldeton; Nicholas de Castello and Christiana his wife settle it on Nicholas their son, and Margaret his wife, being held of the Lord Bardolf, as heir to the Gournay's.
Humphrey Castell, Esq. was lord in 1461.
In the 5th of Edward VI. it was valued at 10l. per ann. and was sold to William Stanhaw, Gent. by John Castell, Esq. of Raveningham.
From the Stanhaw's, it came to William Stone, Gent. by the marriage of Catherine, daughter and heir of William Stanhaw, who died in 1659.
Thomas Stone, Esq. married Lucy, daughter of Robert Suckling, Esq. was living about 1700 and died s. p.
Walsingham Priory Manor.
The ancient family of De Udedale, or Dovedale, was enfeoffed of part of the Conqueror's lordships abovementioned; they were lords also of Tacolneston in this county.
John de Uvedale, in the 41st of Henry III. was found to have disseised John de Stutevile of certain lands.
John de Plumstead and Beatrix his wife, daughter of John de Uvedale, were querents in a fine Ao. 32, of Edward I. and Margery, widow of John de Uvedale, deforcient of 9 messuages, a mill, 170 acres of land, 9 of meadow, 5 of pasture, 11 of wood, and 40s. rent, in this town, Wotton, and Hedenham, &c. settled by Margery on John and Beatrix in tail, remainder to Alice, another daughter of Margery; and in the 1st of Edward II. the sheriff of Norfolk had a precept to make enquiry, why Margery would not convey it.
The right was probably not in her, but in Sir John de Uvedale, who in 1318, gave this manor, worth 10s. per ann. to the canons of Walsingham, who have a license for it, with messuages, and land in Walsingham.
On the dissolution of this priory it came to the Crown, and was granted together with the appropriated rectory on March 22, Ao. 7 Edward VI. to Thomas Gawdy, Esq. who in the said year had license to convey it to William Goslyn, who died seized of it held in capite, in the 4th of Elizabeth, with the rectory (called often a priory) and John was his son and heir. By an inquisition taken October 17, Ao. 37 Elizabeth, John Goslin was found to die seized of the same on August 22, in the said year, and John was his son and heir, aged 22, by Anne his wife, daughter of - - - - - Vere: in this family it remained, William Goslin, Gent. possessing it in 1700: from the Goslings it came to - - - - - Howes, M.D. who was lord in 1720.
Roger Bigot had the grant of a lordship of which Offa, a thane of Archbishop Stigand, was deprived; a carucate of land belonged to it, and Roger held it at the survey; there were 12 borderers, 2 servi, 2 carucates in demean, 3 of the tenants, 3 acres of meadow, 2 horses of the lord, 9 swine, 20 goats valued at 10s. at the survey at 30s. (fn. 3)
The family of Shelton, lords of Shelton in Norfolk, were soon after the survey enfeoffed of this lordship, and held it under the Bigots Earls of Norfolk; in the year 1235, Robert, son of Ralp de Shelton was lord, and in 1270, Henry de Shelton, and Robert was his son, who had a grant of free warren in this town, Shelton, &c. in 1286; he was a knight, and died in the 34th of Edward I. leaving by Isabel his wife, John his son and heir; this lordship was then extended at 73s. 5d. and held of Robert de Tateshale, who held it of the honour of Fornset.
Sir Ralph Shelton settled it in 1346, on his marriage with Joan, daughter of Sir John de Plais: in this family it remained till Sir John Shelton conveyed it by fine, in the 36th of Henry VIII. with 10 messuages, 10 gardens, 200 acres of land, 4 of meadow, 40 of pasture, 4 of wood, and 8l. rent in this town, Topcroft, &c. to Thomas Hanchet, Gent. of Uphall in Braughing, Hertfordshire.
About the year 1600, — Spilling of this town was lord; he purchased it of Ralph Stanhagh, who was living in 1562.
The Stanhow's were an ancient family in this town.
Thomas Stanhow wills, the 3d of December 1414, to be buried in the chapel of St. John of Bedingham: (fn. 4) Joan his wife, Ralph and Robert his sons, and several of them here buried.
Roger, buried in 1558.—Margaret, wife of William Stanhow, Gent. in 1632, Roger Stanhow, Gent. in 1633.—William Stanhow, Gent. in 1659, &c.
The Stones were also an ancient family here. Thomas Stone, Gent. buried here, 1689, father of William Stone, by Audrey his wife, daughter of William Cook of Brome-Hall.
This William married Catherine, daughter and sole heir of William Stanhow, of Bedingham, and left Thomas his son and heir, who married Lucy, daughter of Robert Suckling of Wooton, all buried here.
The Church is dedicated to St. Andrew, and was a rectory. In the 6th year of King Richard I. Benedict de Bedingham called to warrant the advowson, Nicholas de Stutevile, which Theobald Walter claimed against him. (fn. 5) (fn. 6) The Stuteviles were lords and patrons, and Nicholas granted the advowson to Hubert de Burgh, Earl of Kent, who granted it by deed, sans date, to the canons of Walsingham.
Soon after it was appropriated, and a vicarage settled; Jeffrey being vicar in the 33d of Henry III. as appears from a fine then levied.
There were anciently 2 medieties, each valued at 20 marks, one of which was called Reymer's mediety, and there were two churches in the churchyard; one dedicated to St. Mary, which was the church that Benedict abovementioned claimed the patronage of.
Peter-pence, 23d. Carvage 16d.
Both the medieties were after united, and valued at 40 marks.
Rectors And Vicars.
Vincent de Breccles occurs rector in the 16th of Henry III.
Peter de Grimbald was presented to the church by the King, in the 17th of Henry III.
1302, Walter de Munden was instituted vicar, nominated by the Bishop of Norwich, and presented by the convent of Walsingham.
1303, William de Wodeton. Ditto.
1334, John de Hoveden. Ditto.
1334, Robert de Knapton, Ditto.
1342, Hugh de Shouldham. Ditto.
1346, William de Soterley. Ditto.
1349, John Cook. Ditto.
1361, John Tirrell. Ditto.
1388, Simon Jenney. Ditto.
1397, William Weston. Ditto.
1447, James Harrold, nominated by the Bishop, presented by the prior.
Christopher Gosse, vicar in 1603, returned 148 communicants; the Bishop nominated, and John Gorling had the presentation.
Christopher Spendlove, vicar.
William Copping, vicar, died 1666.
John Latham, vicar.
John Brown, vicar in 1679.
Thomas Cooper died in 1725, and J. Parsons presented by John Howse, at the Bishop's nomination.
In the church on a marble stone,
Depositum Mariæ uxoris Hen. Stone gen. filiæ Hen. Mynns de Ilketeshall, Stæ. Margaretæ in com. Suff. gen. quæ obt. Dec. 16, 1675, ætat. 32.
Exuviæ Gul. Coping hujus ecclesiæ pastoris, qui — andmarum suscepit curam bene moriendi artem edocuit, hinc migravit ad aureolam cælestem, 4 Junij 1666, ætat. 27.
On a brass,
Hic jacet Johs. Stanow et Alicia uxor ejus.
In the chancel is buried the heart of one of the Brews, and desired it (dying beyond sea) to be brought here, and a stone lies over it with a heart in brass.
On a little mural stone monument in the south isle,
Rob'tus Bruce, Armiger. unus filior. Johs. Bruce, militis. hic sepelitur, obt. 23. Maij, 1605, ætat. 60; with the arms of Bruce.
Thomas Tinderne, gent. of Wooton, buried here in 1691.
Topcroft Hall, which belonged to the Brews's, and the chapel of St. Ethelbert, in Topcroft, belong to this parish, receive the communion, and pay their offerings here.
The town takes its name, as Bedingham, from a rivulet called Beding, in Sussex: thus Bedingfeld in Suffolk.