An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 10. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1809.
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CRANWORTH, and SWATHING.
Ulf, who was lord of it in the time of Edward the Confessor, being deprived of it, who had 2 carucates of land, held by 13 villains, and 3 borderers, with 2 servi; there were also 2 carucates in demean, and 2 among the tenants, paunage for 200 swine, and 8 acres of meadow, a mill, 2 cows, 15 swine, 20 sheep, and 20 goats; 14 socmen held 40 acres, and 2 carucates of land, valued at 100s. in the time of the Confessor; but at the survey at 10l. per ann. and 10s. was paid for an income or fine. It was one leuca long, and half a one broad, and paid 15d. gelt, and here and in Shipdam, one socman of Stow, had 30 acres: (fn. 1) see in Hardingham.
At the time of the Conqueror's survey adjoining to Cranworth was a town called Swathing, a town many centuries past destroyed and depopulated; and the lands belonging to it now included in the townships of Craneworth, and Letton; that it was a considerable village appears from the following account of it in Domesday Book, when it belonged to the King, and was farmed of him, or taken care of by Godric.
Hacon a freeman being deprived of it, which Hacon was grandson of Earl Godwin, and son of Swain, brother to King Harold, who had 2 carucates of land held by 9 villains and 11 borderers, with 4 servi; there were 2 carucates in demean, and 2 of the tenants, &c. paunage for 60 swine, 5 acres of meadow, 2 mills, &c. 30 sheep, and 6 goats, and 13 socmen belonged to it; 5 of them were in the said village, in Thurston four and in Thurstanestuna four, who held one carucate, formerly 5, valued in Hacon's time at 100s. at the survey at 6l. 13s. 4d. and was 7 furlongs long, 6 broad, whoever was lord of it, and paid 12d. gelt. (fn. 2)
Swathing's and Botetourt's Manor.
The township or lands of Swathing being thus joined to that of Cranworth became two distinct manors, or two moieties of the township of Cranworth, and as such I shall here treat of them in order of time as I find them.
The ancient family of De Gourney were lords of this town, Craneworth, and Letton, and in the 11th of King John a fine was lesied between Mabel, widow of Lewis de Gourney, and Thomas, son of Lewis, of lands, a mill, and 5 marks rent in Cranworth and Letton, granted to Thomas, as part of her dower, and Roger de Swathing was witness to a deed in 1220.
William de Walcote, and Alice his wife, conveyed by fine, in the 4th of Edward I. lands and a messuage here, to Catherine, widow of William de Swathing; and John de Gurney, in the 9th of Edward II. impleaded William de Swathing, for chasing his hares without his license, in his free warren at Swathing; William pleaded that Lewis de Gurney was lord, and held it at the conquest, with free warren, and enfeoffed Arnold de Swathing, his predecessor, of a moiety of the said manor, with freewarren, &c. and William de Gurney in the other moiety, of whom descended John, the complainant, and that by reason of the aforesaid moiety, he and his predecessors, time immemorial, used, in one moiety as well as the other, to chase the hares at their will and pleasure; and Edmund Swathing presented to the church in 1324, and 1334.
Edmund de Swathing, lord of this manor, married Agnes, one of the daughters and coheirs of Jeffrey de Fransham, lord of Fransham Magna, and had William his son and heir, father of Edmund, whose daughter and heir, Elizabeth, brought part of the manor of Fransham, and this manor of Swathing, to Henry Sharington, Esq.
Richard de Kerebrook acknowledged, in a pleading in the 36th of this King, that 2 messuages, 92 acres of land, 22 of meadow, 31 of pasture, in Craneworth, Letton, Kerebrook, &c. were the right of William, son of Ralph de Saham, and his heirs, and that John le Botetour was brother of the said William, who had the judgment of the court to recover part of the said land.
John Boteturt and Maud his wife, sister and heir of Otto, daughter and heir of Beatrix de Bello Campo, formerly wife of William de Montchensy, of Edwardeston in Suffolk, and Robert Swinburn and Joan his wife, daughter and heir of John, son of John Botetourt, had an interest herein, in the 17th of Edward II. and Thomas de Swathing, lord in the 15th of Edw. III.
Bartholomew de Botetour possessed it after Ralph abovementioned, and his daughter and heir, Maud, brought it by marriage to Jeffrey de Swathing; and Jeffrey was lord of it in the 9th of Richard II. and Maud his wife, as appears by a fine then levied between them, and William de Swathing; Margaret, widow of this William, presented as lady of Swathing manor in 1399.
Maud, wife of Jeffrey Swathing, married to her 2d husband, Roger Edmonds, or Esmond, by whom she had a son, John, who had the lordship of Botetour in Kemberley: he was living at Cranworth in the 8th and 20th of Henry VI and had some interest in this lordship.
In the 13th of that King, Edmund de Swathing and his heirs, were found to have a right to feed their sheep in the pasture of Ulnhawe and Bergesmethe, without number, by the grant of John de Calveley, &c.
John Edmonds, by his testament, dated at Westhorpe in Suffolk, November 12, 1563, orders his body to be buried in the church of St. Mary of Cranworth, (fn. 3) Margaret his wife, executrix; to whom he deviseth all his lands in this town and Freinge, &c. remainder to his right heirs; and was proved January 12 following; by an inquisition after his death, he was found to die possessed of the manor of Botetours, in Cranworth, held of the Lord Bardolf, of his manor of Cantele, and of the manor of Thompson.
Henry Sharington, Esq. who was steward to the Bishop of Ely, for his hundred of Mitford, was lord of Swathing's in the 12th of Henry VI. and presented to this church in 1435, and 1439; and Elizabeth his widow in 1452, and his son and heir Thomas in 1477, and 1487, who died about the 12th of Henry VII. and was succeeded by his son, Thomas Sharington, Esq. who presented in 1522.
In the first of Henry VIII. Hen. Thexton, clerk, articled with this Tho. to serve him in the office of a priest, and to pray for the souls of Thomas Sharington and Elizabeth his wife, Henry Sharington and Elizabeth his wife, from the 2d of October, for one whole year, and to have beside his table (that is board) 53s. and 4d.
It is probable that he and his wife Ursula conveyed it to Sir Richard Southwell, who in the year 1546, presented to this church, as lord of Swathing's manor: and in the 31st of Henry VIII. Sir Christopher Jenney, judge of the King's Bench, and Sir John Jenney, Knt. conveyed to Sir Richard Southwell, by fine, the lordship of Botetours.
Thomas Barrow, Esq. was living here in the 24th of Elizabeth, as was William Barrow, Esq. his son and heir, in the 31st of Elizabeth, and had lands here and at Westhorp in Suffolk, which seem to come to them from the Esmonds.
This William is said to have had a brother, Sir Henry Sharington, who by Ann, his wife, daughter and sole heir of Robert Paget, of London, alderman, left two daughters and coheirs; Oliva, married to John Talbot, Esq. a younger son of the house of Grafton; and Grace, to Sir Anthony Mildmay of Apthorp, in Northamptonshire.
Thomas Sharington, Esq. had a daughter, Cecilia, married to Robert Southwell, Esq. serjeant at law, buried both at Barham in Suffolk: he died in 1514, and Anne, a daughter, married to Edmund Playters, Esq. of Suffolk.
In the 38th of Henry VIII. June 26, this rectory and that of Letton, were consolidated. In 1580, William Atkinson, (fn. 4) presented to this church and that of Letton, by the Queen.
1632, Christopher Sutton, (fn. 5) S.T.P. by Sir Thomas Southwell; he was prebend of Westminster.
Cujus hæ sunt induviæ felicem resurrectionem præstolantes? Fuit olim Dominus Gulielm. Cooke de Broom-Hall, in argo Norfolciensi Baronettus, vir omnib; numeris absolutus, omni laude major, priscœ virtutis exemplar perillustre, legum et juris vindex acerrimus, reipublicœ literariœ decus et ornamentum. Qui nefarijs pontificiorum et schismaticorum dolis idsanientium æque infensus; monarchiam et hierarchiam turbidissimo rerum statu propalam ausus est tueri. Quid plura? vivus patriæ et ecclesiæ delitium, mortuus, utriusq; desiderium; senio et arthritide confectus obdormivit. Ao. Salut. 1708, æt. 78. Cujus juxta ad latus Jana uxor viro tanta non indigna e regia familia Stuartorum oriunda, sive animam sive corpus spectes præclaris dotibus instructissima, sive conjugem sive matrem pari pietatis affectu honoranda, obijt. Ao. Salut. 98, ætat. 63.
Winbergh; quarterly or and azure, a bend over all gules, Blundevile; ermin, a saltire engrailed, gules, Bottetourt; Lord Bardolf; gules, a fess, argent, in chief three plates, Brampton; gules, a chevron, ermin, between three bucks heads caboshed, argent; Sharington, impaling ermin, on a chevron, azure, three leopards faces, or, Pirton of Essex.
Gurdon bears sable, three leopards, faces, passant, as many de-lis, or; and quarters Sexton, argent, three single eagles wings expanded, gules: Mounteney, azure, a bend between six martlets, or. Brampton, Clifton, Barton, argent, on a fess, gules, three annulets, or; Burgate, paly of six argent and azure, a fess, over all, gules and argent, three piles, wavy, gules, a bend over all, azure.
Thomas Sharington, Esq. of Cranworth, by his will dated October 15, 1519, and proved January 12, 1524, appears to have had by Catherine his wife, (then dead,) daughter of William Pyrton of Essex, Esq. 5 sons; first, William, 2d, Thomas, 3d, Henry, 4th, John, 5th, Anthony, and five daughters; first Elizabeth, 2d, Anne, 3d, Cæcilia, Ursula, and Olivia. Reg. Briggs, Norw. p. 35.
The town is seated where two streams or rivulets unite, as appears from the adjunct word, worth; cran or curne, signifies the turn of a river, and sometimes is the name of a river, as Cranborn in Dorsetshire, and Cranbrook in Essex.