An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 10. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1809.
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It was burnt on the first of July, 23d of Elizabeth, as we learn from a book then published, and entitled "An Account of the lamentable burning of East-Derham, in the county of Norfolk, July 1, 1581," (fn. 1) in verse printed in black letter, 1582, at London.
On the 3d of July, 21st Charles II. it was again almost entirely destroyed by fire, five persons were then burnt, many horses and other cattle, 170 houses; the loss by which was estimated at 11,020l. and by goods and merchandise at 8,423l. the whole amounting to 19,443l.
East-Dereham of the Queen.
In Domesday book it is said to have belonged to St Edeldrede, (that is, to the church or monastery of Ely,) and to consist of five carucates of land; in Edward the Confessor's time there were twenty villains, in the Conqueror's 16, then 20 borderers, now 25, then 2 carucates in demean, now three, then eight among the tenants, now 7, then paunage for 600 swine now for 300; there were always three mills; three beasts of burden twelve young cattle, 20 swine, 100 sheep, 7 socmen, 30 acres of land, and 2 of meadow, three acres of wood.
It was valued then at 10l. now at 13l. It is one leuca long, and half a leuca broad, and pays 15d. in gelt or tribute. (fn. 2)
This lordship continued a part of the possession of the monastery of Ely till the foundation of the Bishop's see there in 1109, (9 H. I.) when it was assigned to the Bishop, and made a part of his barony.
From a MS. book, entitled "A Book of the Survey of the manors belonging to the bishoprick of Ely, taken in the time of Hugh de Balsham, Bishop of Ely, and in the 21st year of his consecration;" viz. in 1277, is extracted the following account of it;
"This lordship is in the Bishop of Ely's hundred of Mitford, except the north street of the town, (fn. 3) and that is in the hundred of Launditch, (which belongs to John L'Estrange of Lytcham) in which hundred the men inhabiting in the said street, meet once in the year to renew their pledges, at Strutyman's-dyke, in the presence of the bailifs of both these hundreds and pay a fine of 2s. ne occasionenter, (that they may not be disturbed, sued, or put to trouble,) whereof the Bishop's bailiff is to have 1s. 8d. and the bailiff of Launditch 4d. or to eat with the other bailiff at the Bishop's charge."
"The advowson of the church of Derham with the chapel of Hoe, belongs to the Bishop. The church of Derham, is in the archdeacon of Norfolk and deanery of Hingham. The chapel of Hoe is in the archdeaconry of Norwich, and deanery of Brisley."
The demean lands are then described, the lands of the free and copyhold tenants, the rents, customs, services, heriots, &c. &c. the several commons belonging to the manor, are abutted, and thus mentioned:
"On Estlingker common, (fn. 4) the towns of Yaxham, Mattishall, and Tuddenham, are to intercommon with the Bishop's tenants, hut not to cut wood or turf without the Bishop's leave; the Bishop and his tenants are likewise to intercommon on the other side of the bank with them and in Tuddenham here."
"On Brunesmor common, the town of Derham, with the homage of William de Bellomonte of Little Derham, Gilbert de Fransham of Scarning, and William de Stutevile of Gressenhall are to intercommon with the Bishop, as before, and the Bishop, and the town of Derham, with them, on Scarning common."
"On Bukemede, the town of Derham the homage of William de Stutevile, in Gressenhall, of Thomas de Hereford and Gilbert de Fransham, and the homage of William de Bellomonte, in Little Derham intercommon with the Bishop, who with his tenants are to intercommon on the other side of the bank with them."
"On Morgate green, the town of Derham, the homage of William de Bellomonte of Little Derham of William de Stutevile, and Gilbert de Fransham, in Scarning, intercommon with the Bishop, and the Bishop and town of Derham likewise intercommon with them in Berkeslehell."
"The tenants are to put their cattle on the above commons and lands, (except in those lands, which are lately cleared of wood) from the time that harvest is finished to Lady-day, but the lord is first to put his cattle on, and in recompense for this right of common, the Bishop's tenants are to plough his lands called Graserthe. The Bishop has free warren over the whole manor; he has likewise the fisheries of Eastmill, Kirkmill, and formerly he had that at Bethousemill, but was late hindred there by the lady of Belhouse manor in Tuddenham. There are two water-mills, one wind-mill, and the Bishop might erect another if he pleased. The market is worth 10 marks per ann. The stock to be kept is 10 cows, a free bull, thirty hogs, a free boar, and 200 sheep."
"The Lady Alice Mareschall held three fees by knight's service of this manor. A fine called childwite is to be paid for every bastard born, and another called gersuma, upon the marriage of a son or daughter.—A heriot is due of a death, or 20s.—The widow is entitled to half the husband's lands for life."
"Here is a wood belonging to the Bishop, called Toft-wode, (fn. 5) containing about 70 acres, and worth by the year 19s."
In the rolls of the King's Bench it appears that the Bishop had a fair, and that the town was 16 leuca distant from Norwich, by which it is plain that a leuca was then accounted only one mile, Dereham being exactly 16 measured miles from Norwich.
The Bishop had likewise a prison here, (fn. 6) for his hundred of Mitford, and return of writs.
On Tuesday after Palm-Sunday, here was a gaol delivery before Thomas Derham, John Manning, and William Yelverton: this gaol was near the market-house in the reign of Henry VI. Some part of the wall is now standing, and is a part of a house near the assembly room.
In the first of Elizabeth this manor, &c. &c. were by act of parliament granted to the Crown; and in that year the rent of assise was 23l. 19s. 0d.; to customary villains, 14l. 5s. 0d.; rent called Hedermuth, 0l. 3s. 2d.; moveable rent 1l. 1s. 3d.; rent of the demeans 13l. 13s. 2d.; herbage, 0l. 5s. 8d.; a mill 6l. 0s. 0d.; market and stalls 3l. 3s. 8d.; one acre's rent 0l. 1s. 6d.; profit of the fair 0l. 3s. 8d.; the whole amounting to 62l. 19s. 6d.
In the 26 of James I. Robert Phipps, citizen and grocer of London, had a lease, of all those buildings called the Stalls and Standings, and the profits arising from the stallage of 35s. per ann. from the Prince for 20l.
In the 4th of James II. Catherine, Queen Dowager, had the manor, and Sir Charles Harbord, surveyor general, farmed it of her, and bought the reversion for his two sons, Philip Harbord, Esq. and Colonel John Harbord.
The Bishop had a park belonging to this manor, which was granted to — Crompton, — Wright, and — Meyrick and their heirs, by patent, dated in the 24th of Elizabeth. John Duke, M.D. of Colchester, was seized of a moiety of it, (which he purchased of Mr. Fountain,) and by his will, gave it to Anne his wife, who settled it in 1636, on Robert Paynell of Norwich, Gent. and Judith his wife, one of the daughters and coheirs of the said John, and Anne Duke, the said Paynell paying 800l. to Thomas Cook and Elizabeth his wife.
Colbowrn's or Mowle's Manor.
John Baynard, Esq. died possessed of this manor, as by his will, dated March 26, in the 14th of Edw. IV. he devised it to be sold. (fn. 7) In the 15 of Henry VIII. Henry Parker of Moughton was lord of it. In the 31 of Elizabeth, there was a prœcipe to William Stanhawe, Gent. Robert Palmer, &c. to render to Thomas Heryng, Gent. the manor of Colbbowrn's, Mowle's, or Massingham's, lying in East Dereham, Hoe, North Tudenham, and Yaxham.
Creke's or Oldhall's Manor.
Ralph de Beaufoe had a lordship here which Harold held, as a lay fee, of Stigund, Archbishop of Canterbury. In King Edward the Confessor's reign it was granted to Ralph at the conquest, under whom Odar held it: in the Confessor's time it consisted of 2 carucates of land; there were then four villains, 15 borderers, 2 servi, 6 acres of meadow, and 2 in demean, now only one, and another might be restored; there were 2 carucates among the tenants, paunage for 30 swine, one mill and 5 socmen, 43 acres of land, and 2 acres of meadow, then and before, one carucate, now half an one, and the whole might be restored; then there were one beast of burden, 4 young cattle, 7 socmen, now 2, then 7 goats, now 8; it was then valued at 20s. now at the conquest at 40s.
The whole was one leuca and 5 furlongs long, half a leuca and 3 furlongs broad, and paid 10d. gelt. (fn. 8)
This lordship stands accounted for under the hundred of Launditch, as belonging to Mileham manor, and lying in the parish of Dereham; it also extended into Scarning, and was called Drayton Hall, in Scarning, from its ancient lords, the Draytons.
In the 11th of Edward III. Nicholas Oldhall seems to have possessed it, when an agreement was made between him and the Bishop of Ely, for the service of certain land held of the Bishop. From this Nicholas descended Sir Edmund Oldhall, Knt. who by Alice his wife, one of the daughters and coheirs of Jeffrey de Fransham, lord of Fransham Magna, had Sir William Oldhall, who on the 20th of July, in the 10th of Henry VI. had the King's protection, being then abroad in France, in the retinue of Thomas Duke of Exeter.
He was afterwards Speaker of the House of Commons, and attainted of treason, for being concerned in Jack Cade's rebellion in Kent, and a writ of outlawry was confirmed against him by parliament, about the 33 of Henry VI.
The Church of East-Dereham is dedicated to St. Nicholas, and has a chapel belonging to it at Hoo; it was valued with that at 110 marks, and the vicarage at 14 marks. It paid Peter-pence, 22d. The rectory is a sinecure, valued in the King's books at 41l. 3s. 1d. ½. and has the patronage of the vicarage, which is valued at 17l. 3s. 4d.
It appears by a receipt, without any date, of Hugo Monaldi and others, citizens of Florence, that they received of the prior of Wymondham, 120 marks sterlings (the profits of this church) wherein the said prior was bound to — —, Bishop of Ostia in Italy, and rector of this parish.
1240, Robert Passelaw, chaplain to King Henry III. he was chancellor of the Exchequer, archdeacon of Lewis, (elected by the canons,) Bishop of Chichester, in the 30 of Henry III. but was set aside, and died rector.
1534, Edmund Bonner, LL. D. in 1538, he was installed Bishop of Hertford, and in 1540, Bishop of London; in 1549, he was displaced by Edward VI. and restored again by Mary in 1553; again displaced in 1559, and died in the Marshalsea in 1569. He was the natural son of a priest, named Savage, but his mother, Elizabeth Frodsham, marrying one Edmund Bonner of Henley in Worcestershire; he was called by his name.
1677, James Verdon A.M. on Garret's resignation, was presented by Susan Wood of Norwich, widow of — Wood, and patroness; and in 1716, he was collated by lapse; he was rector 63 years, and died in 1741, aged 89.
1479, John Goose, by Richard Sherborn, rector; he gave a house in Baxter-Row, (fn. 9) and three inclosures to the the town.
This church is a large pile built in the form of a cathedral or collegiate church; it has a nave, north and south isles; two transepts. or cross isles, and a chancel all leaded; there is a tower between the body of the church and the chancel, which is of antique building, as in many cathedrals; in the transepts were formerly the chapels of the Holy Cross, St. Mary, St. Withburga, &c. the south or Holy Cross chapel, was repaired by the family of the Botons, who lived in Henry the Seventh's time: the treasury or ammunition chamber, was over this chapel, for the keeping of which a salary was annually paid till Henry the Eighth's reign.
The font is very handsome; it is of stone, the form octangular, there are the representation of our Saviour's crucifixion, and the seven sacraments of the Romish church carved upon it, below which are eight of the Apostles at full length, and at the eight corners beneath them are the Four Evangelists and the symbol of each, namely, an angel, lion, bull, and eagle.
Of this money fifty shillings and two-pence was raised by a voluntary subscription of the inhabitants; the rent of the church lands, (at that time very small,) the Sunday gatherings, and the legacies or questword of the deceased, supplied the rest, and were the funds from which the church was repaired and ornamented.
The church is very regularly and handsomely seated, the fronts of the seats towards the middle isle are of pannelled wainscot; there is an exceedingly good vestry, with proper cases for town writings, &c.
In the beginning of the sixteenth century (1501) and in the latter part of Henry the Seventh's reign, the tower in the middle of the church was thought not strong enough for the bells; part of that and the bells were then taken away, and the large tower (then called the new clocker) in the churchyard, on the south side, and about 20 yards from the chancel, was begun; it was several years in building, and benefactions towards carrying it on were given from 1508, to 1516; in it are now a clock and eight bells; it was never completed, but the present flat roof was put up and leaded in Henry the Eighth's reign.
In 1458, in this church were the guilds of St. Mary, St. Witnburga, St. Mary Magdalen, Corpus Christi, Holy Cross, St. Peter, Holy Trinity, St. George, St. Thomas, St. Margaret, St. Catharine, St. James, St. Michael, and that of Jesu, erected in 1457.
Thomas Spyrk, by his will dated in 1474, desires to be buried by the chancel door: he gives legacies to St. Mary's light, to the light and guild of St. Nicholas, to the lights found by the guilds before the image of the Trinity, to those of St. James, St. Thomas of Canterbury, St. Michael, St. Catherine, St. Margaret, St. Mary Magdalen, St. Anne, the rood, and St. Withburga: also to the keeping of the light in Church-row and that of Sand-pit-row; he mentions Sir John Aylward his confessor, and one of the three chaplains serving in the church.
Orate pro animà Magistris Kelyng, quondam vicarij isitus ecclesiœ, qui obiit xxv die mensis Septembris, Anno Domini 1479, cujus anime propicietur Deus.—Orate pro a'ia Etheldrede Castell, que ob. 1486.
Alta petens Aquila istac jam conditur aula Qui manet precibus justorum gaudia lucis, Hic rexit ternis viginti da - - - - - - - annis, Luce sepultus ea fuerat dran - - - - - - - te Maria, Anno Milleno D'ni quingentenoque trino.
And will no doubt him praize therefore afford, Saint Katrin's nere London, can it tell Goldsmiths and Merchant Taylors know it well; Two county towns his civil bounty blest, East Derham, and Norton Fitz-Warren West, More did he than this table can unfold, The world his fame, this earth his earth doth hold.
Mary Browne, ob. 1726.—John Leeds, gent. ob. 1726. Arms, Leeds, argent, a fess, gules, between three eagles displayed, sable, impaling Basset, paly of six, or and gules, on a canton, argent, two bars, nebule, sable; crest, a cock, gules.
James Aylmer and Frances his wife, ob. 1730.—Johannes Sayer, M. B. ob. 1736. Arms, gules, a chevron, ermin, between five sea-mews proper; crest, a hand couped at the elbow, proper, clothed gules, holding a dragon's head, erased, vert.
E. Elsegood, widow, ob. 1755.—John Watts, gent. ob. 1756, aged 81. Arms, Watts, ermin, on a chief, gules, an annulet between two billets, or; in an escutcheon of pretence, the arms of Brown; crest, a lion's paw erased, and erected, or, supporting an escotcheon, or.
Thomas Guybon, ob. 1759, aged 16. Arms, or, a lion rampant, sable, debruised by a bend, gules, charged with three escallops, argent; crest, a demy lion rampant, sable, on his shoulder three escallops, argent.
Mary, wife of William Donne, gent. ob. 1755.—Frances, 2d wife of William Donne, gent. ob. 1759. Arms, Donne, azure, a wolf, saliant, argent, impaling Sayer, as before, and Nelson; a cross, moline, over all a bend.
On a very handsome mural monument, are the following arms and inscription; Clarke impaling Verdon, or, two bars, azure. in chief, three escallops, gules, impaling sable, a lion rampant, argent; crest, a dexter arm, couped at the shoulder, proper, holding an arrow, or.
At the east end of the baptistery there is now remaining a curious old Gothic arch, from which runs a spring of clear water, formerly said to have had many medicinal and healing qualities. (fn. 10)
In the 11th of Henry IV. the Bishop of Norwich granted a license for a chaplain to perform divine service in this chapel, which appears to have been taken down in the 7th of Elizabeth, from the following entry in the church accounts:
In 650, (fn. 11) a nunnery of Benedictines was founded here by Anna, King of the East-Angles, for Withburga, his youngest daughter, whom he made prioress. (fn. 12) This house is reported to have been so poor at its institution, that by the prayers of their prioress, the nuns are said to have been miraculously supported by two does, which came constantly to be milked at a certain time and place; this resource was but of short continuance, for the bailiff of the town envying them this supply, most maliciously hunted them away with his hounds, and as a just judgment upon him soon after broke his neck as he was pursuing his favourite diversion of hunting.
Withburga died, and was buried in the churchyard, after which the pagan Danes coming into England, the nunnery was destroyed, and the church made parochial; this happened about 55 years after her decease.
About the year 798, her body being found uncorrupted, was taken up, and translated into the church, where it remained near 200 years, when, to complete her story, we are told that Brithnod, abbot of Ely, and his monks, concerted a scheme for conveying her body from thence to Ely, which they effected by having men and carriages stationed upon the road, ready to receive it from those appointed to steal it away.
Their scheme succeeded, and they brought the body to Brandon ferry, where it was put on board a vessel, from thence conveyed to Ely, and there enshrined, before the men from Dereham could take any step to recover it.
This was dissolved by Henry VIII. and in the 2d of Edward VI. was granted to Thomas Wodehouse of Waxham, Esq. and his heirs, for ever; he the next year, granted it to William Skarlett and William Atle, both of East-Dereham, who the same year granted it to John Cane, clerk, of the same place, with all the appurtenances which it had before the Dissolution, consisting of 5 tenements, 20 acres of land, and a rent-charge of 2s. 2d. out of lands called the Headborough lands, all which were for the maintenance of the fraternity belonging to the guild, and originall given to pray for the souls of certain persons deceased, and for the souls of the faithful in general.
The rectory house is dilapidated. There are a large barn, a granary, one close of meadow, of about 6 acres, and another small piece of meadow, at the west end of the churchyard, of about half an acre, belonging to the rector.
There are upwards of 53 acres of meadow and arable land belonging to the church, which most of them lie in the parish; the rents amounting to 50l. per ann. and upwards, are appropriated to the repairing and ornamenting the church.