An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 10. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1809.
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In Domesday Book is wrote Iachesham, taking its name from its being near to a morass or bog, as Yaxley in Suffolk and Huntingdonshire. Roger Bigot, ancestor of the Earls of Norfolk, had a grant of a lordship here from the Conqueror, with 30 acres of land, of which Aldin, a priest, and a freeman, was deprived; 8 borderers belonged to it, with a carucate of land, &c. 4 acres of meadow valued at 10s. per ann.
It was 7 furlongs long, and 5 broad, and paid 20d. gelt. (fn. 1)
Roger Bigot held also, soon after the conquest, of the abbot of Ely, 14 socmen in this town, with 90 acres of land, 2 carucates and 4 acres of meadow, but at the survey, he held this of the King, and it was then valued at 20s. so that it appears both the Conqueror and Roger, made no scruple of robbing the church of their possessions.
The family of De Curzun or Curson, was early enfeoffed of this lordship, which Ralph de Curzun was lord of in the first of King John, and held of the Earl of Norfolk. In the 8th of Henry III. Ralph Picot granted by fine, a carucate and an half in this town, to Robert Curcun, and in the 35th of Edward I. Roger de Curson held one fee of Roger Bigod Earl of Norfolk.
Richard de Thurston, &c. settled it by fine (as trustee) on Roger de Curzun and Beatrix his wife, and the heirs of their bodies, in the first of Edward II. and in the 12th of that King, he had a charter for free warren; one of the same name was lord in the 20th of Edward III.
In the 11th of Richard II. Thomas Curson of Folsham, son of William, released his right in two parts of this lordship, and those of Gerberge and Gelham, in Wode-Norton, to William Curson of Berford, and his heirs, and William Gerberge, son of Sir Roger, granted to Alice, widow of Sir William, in the 13th of that King, an annuity of 10 marks, out of this manor.
Sir John Curson of Billingford, by his last will, dated January 10, in the 11th of Edward IV. orders his trustees if they should recover his right in the 3d part of the manor of Yaxham, to settle it on Edward, his youngest son.
This lordship of Yaxham was about this time divided into 4 parts, or manors; first, Curson's, sold to Henry Slurmer, whose wife sold it to John Hastings, who gave it to his son, Robert, and Sir John Curson claimed a right herein; 2d, Gerberge's manor, of which Hugh Gerberge was lord; this was divided into two parts, Crane held one, and sold it to Henry Sturmer, from whom it came to Hastings, and John Docking had the other part, who sold it to William Paston, Esq. 3d, Ilneys manor; this was also divided into 2 parts, Crane had one, and sold it to Sturmer, and he to Hastings, and John Docking had the other part, who sold it to Paston.
John Hastings, son and heir of Sir Edward, John Heydon, William Stather, &c. were querents in a fine, and Roger Drury and Ann his wife, deforcients, of the manors of Yaxham, Cursons, Gerberge, and Ilneys, conveyed to Stather, in the 16th of Edward IV. from the heirs of Anne; she was daughter and heir of Henry Sturmer, and had also Southall manor in Geyst, and that of Besthorp, of her own inheritance.
Hermerus de Ferrarijs had 4 socmen, which belonged to his predecessor, (with 20 acres of land,) in King Edward's reign, a carucate, now half a one, and one acre of meadow, then valued at 4s. at the survey at 2s. (fn. 2)
In the 9th of Edward II. Robert Atte Haghe held here, in Shipdam, and Letton, a quarter of a fee 120 acres of land, with 3 tenants, and a moiety of the Rode fee, of the honour of Wirmegey, and in the 5th of Henry VI. Robert Fishpool held the same.
Alan Earl of Richmond, had 2 socmen, with 24 acres of land, and half a carucate, belonging to his manor of Costesey, or Cossey, under which it was valued, of which Earl Guert was lord in King Edward's time. (fn. 3)
The Church of Yaxham is dedicated to St. Peter. William de Wendling was patron of it in the reign of Edward I. and about the same time, Sir Robert de Curson the rector had then a manse with 40 acres of land, and was valued at 22 marks. Peter-pence 20d. the present valor is 10l. 9d. ob. and pays first fruits and tenths.
In a south window of the chancel, azure, fretty, argent, on a canton, gules, the sun, or; or, on a bend between three crosier staffs, gules, three pales, or bezants, Wendling abbey arms. In the windows of the south isle, gules on a chevron, argent, three torteaux azure, three cinquefoils, or; also quarterly, Hastings and Foliot.
Appethorp, part of this town, is placed under the hundred of Fourhou, and part in this hundred of Mitford, and was of the lordship of Alan Earl of Richmond, and before of Earl Guert belonging to his great manor of Costesey.