An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 10. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1809.
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Roger Bigot, ancestor of the Earls of Norfolk, had, by grant of the Conqueror, an interest in, or the moiety of, a freeman, who possessed 8 acres, and ploughed it with 2 oxen, (Bigot's lordship in Claxton, Ashby and Carleton, extended into this town,) and it was valued in Carleton. (fn. 1)
It was held by an ancient family, who assumed their name from the town. John, son of Wymer de Helgeton, gave to the canons of Walsingham, by deed, sans date, a quarter of barley, yearly; and Robert, son of Herbert de Helgeton, gave lands in Carlton to the canons of Langley.
In the 4th of King John, a fine was levied between William, parson of Helgeton, petent, and Godfrey, son of Alan tenent, of lands here; and in the 10th of that King, Jeffrey de Noring was petent, and Alan de Helgeton, tenent, of a carucate of land.
William de Helgeton was lord, and died about the 10th of Henry III. and was succeeded by John his brother, when Alice, widow of William, granted to John, the 3d part of this manor, held as her dower, with lands in Wramplingham, for the rent of 60s. per ann.
Thomas de Helgeton claimed, as lord, in the 14th of Edward I. the assise, view of frank pledge, and a weekly mercate, on Wednesday, with a fair in this manor. Sir Thomas de Helgeton and Alice his wife, were living in the 25th of Edward I. when they conveyed by fine, to William de Kerdeston, this lordship, with the reversion of many lands in this town, &c. after the decease of several persons, excepting the advowson of this church, and that of Ashby.
We find that the Helgetons had still an interest here; and in the 26th of Edward I. John de Helgeton, and Claricia his wife, granted lands to Matthew de Kerdeston; as Will. son of Rob. de Helgeton, and Prudence his wife did, to Hugh de Loverd, in the 11th of Edward II. and John de Helgeton and Roger de Kerdeston, held here and in Wramplingham, one fee, in the 17th of that King. John de Snetterton, and Bartholomew de Helgeton, conveyed to John de Helgeton and Agnes his wife, (as trustees,) several messuages, and great parcels of land in the 6th of Edward III. but the manor and advowson was, at this time, in the Kerdestons, and Roger de Kerdeston presented in 1326.
Godric, the King's steward, had a grant of the lands of 3 freemen, 2 of them belonged to Edwin, (who was son of Algar Earl of Mercia,) and one to Gert, (King Harold's brother,) on whose deprivation, their lands were granted to Ralph Earl of Norfolk, and on his rebellion, and forfeiture, to Godric.
These three freemen had 2 carucates of land, and 12 borderers under them, held 3 carucates and a half; there were 12 freemen, 6 of them belonged to the lord's fold, who had the soc, and the other six were freemen; among all these were 2 carucates, and 40 acres of land. Helgeton was 4 furlongs long, and 3 broad, and paid 4d. gelt. (fn. 2)
On the death of Godric, this seems to have come to the Crown, as an escheat, and was granted to William de Cheyney, (lord of Horseford,) with Claxton, in the reign of King Stephen, and so to the Cressys; and the family of De Kerdeston was enfeoffed of it, as may be seen at large in Claxton.
John de Shardelow and Agnes his wife, purchased lands here of John, son of Hugh le Falconer of this town, and Catharine, his wife, in the reign of Edward III. and in the 25th of that King, John, son of Sir John de Shardelow, and Thomas his brother, gave the church of Cowling in Suffolk, to Trinity hall, Cambridge.
Alan de Helgeton, by deed sans date, gave to the monks of Castleacre, land in Helgeton; (fn. 3) and Wimer, son of Lambert de Helginton, gave to them a meadow, called Hoxwelledol; and in the 30th of Edward I. Thomas, son and heir of Sir Robert de Haleghton, covenants (with his father) to marry Joan, daughter and heir of Sir Nicholas de Wokindon.