An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 10. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1809.
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Hermerus de Ferrariis was lord of this town, by grant of the Conqueror, on the expulsion of Turchetel, who possessed it in the reign of King Edward, when there were 3 carucates of land, and an acre and half, held by 9 villains, and 8 borderers, with 8 servi, 4 carucates in demean, and 3 among the tenants, &c. 16 acres of meadow, a mill, 2 runci, 8 cows 47 swine, 100 sheep, lacking 2, 60 goats, a church endowed with 6 acres, valued with Gerveston, at 6l. but at the survey at 7l. and was measured with that town, and joined in payment of the gelt.
Also Hermerus had a socman with 32 acres of meadow, and a carucate and a half valued at 16s. &c. but after at 8s. (fn. 1)
From Hermerus, who was lord of Wirmegey, it came, as may be there seen at large, to the Lords Bardolf, lords of the honour of Wirmegey; and in the 18th of King John, Hubert de Burgo, chief justice of England, had that King's protection for this manor and that of Stow Bardolf, in Norfolk, granted him at Lynn, on October 9: he married Beatrix the widow of Dodo Bardolf, lord of it in her right.
In the 58th year of Henry III. William Lord Bardolf impleaded Thomas le Parker of Saham, &c. for entering his park, and taking his beasts, and for fishing in his ponds here, and taking his fish; the sheriff returned that it was in the liberty of the Bishop of Ely, and therefore a non omittas was awarded; and in the said year William had free warren in his demean land; and his park is said to contain 500 acres of land.
In the 15th of Edward I. the Lord Bardolf claimed view of frank pledge, assise of bread and beer, a weekly mercate on Thursday, and a fair yearly, on the vigil, the day of St. Simon and Jude, and the three following days.
I find, that in the 12th of the said King, he claimed a grant for a mercate, on Wednesday, and a fair on the eve and day of St. Margaret, and the day after, which I suppose set aside the aforementioned one.
In the 4th of Henry VIII. on June 23d, it was granted with the advowson of the church, late Francis Lord Lovell's, to John Carr, Esq. who conveyed it in the said year, to John Burney, and Ralph Berney, &c.
After this, it came to Sir Richard Southwell, knight, who possessed it in 1544, and it was by them conveyed to the Cranes, of Wood Rysing, then to the Claytons, about 1662, and William Clayton, Esq. in 1758, was lord and patron.
The town gave name to the family of De Whinburgh, of Whinburgh. Henry Whinburgh, Gent. by his will, dated the 31st of October, 1544, had lands in this town, Yaxham, Gerveston, Reymerston, and Thuxton. (fn. 2) Ann his wife, survived him, by whom he had James his son.