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.
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.
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.
Walsingham Priory Manor.
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.
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.
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.
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.