An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 10. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1809.
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MITFORD HUNDRED AND HALF.
At the survey it belonged to the monastry of Ely, (St. Etheldreda or St. Audry) the abbot and convent were lords of it, in the reign of the Confessor, and was valued at 60s. per ann. (fn. 1)
King Edgar granted to it very great privileges, which were confirmed and enlarged by King Edward, and other Kings, and on the erection of the bishoprick of Ely in 1109, was settled on that see, as part of its revenues.
In the reign of Richard I. these royalties belonged to it, soc, sac, thol, theam, infangtheof, and outfangtheof, frithwite, ferdwite, grithbrith, and all forfeitures; which he confirmed, as his father King Henry had.
The Bishop's men were free from all toll, passage, geld, and Dane gelt, and acquitted from all fines for murder in the said hundred, as due to the Bishop, except they who held of a different fee, and except treasure trove. He had the return of all writs in his own fee, and that of other persons, writs, of replevin, all fines and amercements, felons goods, and fugitives.
In the 34th of Henry III. he had his own coroner, and the hundred was valued at 100s. per ann. in the 35th he had free warren, and in the 41st of that King his own judge for this liberty, William le Briton; when it was found that Hugh de Norword, late Bishop, had erected a prison at East Derham, since the last iter of the judges, the prisoners before being brought to Norwich.
In the 6th of Edward I. it appears that he had a gallows, tumbrel, a free court, and cognizance of all secular crimes, and held pleadings in the hundred as well as the sheriff in the county, and had assise of bread and beer, and in the 21st of that King, a complaint being made by the Bishop that some persons belonging to this liberty were impleaded before John de Mettingham, one of the King's justices, and his associates, and would not allow of his liberty, satisfaction was ordered to be made to the Bishop, by the King, &c. in parliament; about this time the jury find it valued at 10 marks per ann.
In the 11th of Henry VI. the Bishop's bailiff accounted for sheriff's aid 8s. 2d. and for the letes of North and East Tudenham, Mateshale, Thuxton, Gerveston, Reymirston, Hardingham, South-Bergh, Rysing, Cranworth, Letten, Shipdam, Westfield, Bergh, Yaxham, Hokering, and Streteman's-Dike; this was so called from the north street of East Derham, which lies in the hundred of Launditch, of which John Le Strange of Litcham in Norfolk was lord in 1277, and the men inhabiting in this street, met once every year to renew their pledges, at this dike, in the presence of the bailiffs of both these hundreds, and paid a fine, (ne occasionentur) not to be charged with any occasional payments. The fine was 2s. of which the Bishop's bailiff was to have 1s. 8d. and the other bailiff 4d. or to eat with the Bishop's bailiff, at the Bishop's charge, and the turn for this street was held at this place.
The hundred remained in the see of Ely, till granted to the Crown, by act of parliament, in the 1st of Elizabeth: in the beginning of her reign I find it let for 4l. 5s. 3d per ann. besides casualties; and in the 16th of James I. it was granted to Sir John Hobart, lord chief justice of the Common Pleas, for three lives.
In the 37th of Henry VIII. Thomas Goodrye Bishop of Ely granted Thomas Howard Duke of Norfolk the office of bailiff, of all and singular the lordships, and lands in Norfolk, belonging to him for his life, dated at Ely in the chapter-house, September 21.