An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 10. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1809.
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Lies north of Docking, and east of Ringsted, and was formerly a little village, held at the survey by William de Scohies, lord of Ringsted Parva, and of Bircham Magna, of which townships it seems to have been then a part or member, and so does not occur in the book of Domesday.
From Scohies it was purchased in the time of Henry I. by Walter Giffard Earl of Buckingham; whose son Walter dying sans issue, Richard de Clare Earl of Hertford was his heir; descended from Rohesia his sister, wife of Richard Fitz Gilbert. But an inquisition in the time of Henry I. says it was the lordship of John, son of Waleran, from whom it came to Giffard, &c. as in Ringsted Parva.
The most considerable part of this township was given, by Walter Giffard, the Earl of that name, to the hospital of Burton Lazars in Leicestershire, who had this lordship in the reign of Edward I. and their temporalities were valued in 1428 at 11l. 4s. 11d.
At the general dissolution of abbies, &c. King Henry VIII. on the 4th of May, in his 36th year, granted to Sir John Dudley Viscount Lisle, this manor, with all its rights, members and appertenances belonging to the hospital of Burton St. Lazarus, to be held in capite by knight's service, paying 9s. 4d. per ann. and on the 14th of March, in the 37th of the said King, John Lord Lisle conveyed it to Dame Joan Leigh of Hoggeston in Middlesex, widow, late wife of Sir Thomas Leigh; remainder to Katherine her daughter and sole heir of Sir Thomas, who being afterwards married to James Blount, Lord Mountjoy, they both, by deed dated August 14, in the 3d of Elizabeth, sell it for 130l. to Sir Nicholas L'Estrange and his heirs, with all its privileges, courts, letes, &c. and Sir Nicholas L'Estrange, and Hamon L'Estrange of Hunstanton, his son and heir, sell it April 23, in the 27th of the said Queen, to Thomas Reade of Ringstead, and Robert Reade, Gent. son of Thomas died lord August 26, in the 37th of Elizabeth, as appears by an inquisition taken at Norwich castle, October 23d, in the said year; and left by Mary his wife. Bridget his daughter and heir, who in the 10th of James I. with Valentine Upton of North Holme in Lincolnshire, Esq. sold their third part of the manor to William Reade of Chosell, brother of Robert, by fine, for 600l. and William settled it by deed January 1, in the 19th of James I. on himself for life; remainder to John his brother; remainder on William, son of John, in fee; which William Reade of Thornham, Gent. was lord in the 18th of Charles I. and his son William Reade, of Holkham in Norfolk, Gent. with Frances his wife, daughter of John Watts of Burnham Ulpe, Gent. sold this manor, rectory, and portion of tithes, to Edward Pepys, Esq. in 1656, of Brunsthorp, who by Elizabeth, daughter and coheir of John Walpole of Bromesthorpe, Esq. had Anne his daughter and heir, who dying without issue, Jane, daughter of John Pepys of South Creke, sister of the said Edward, having several sons and daughters by John Turner of — in Yorkshire, was his heir; and Theophila, one of the said daughters, brought it by marriage to Sir Arthur Harris of Stowford in Devonshire, Bart. lord here in 1698.
In the 9th of Edward II. Robert de Dalby appears to have also a lordship in this village, and in the 11th of that King, Ralph Cosyn of Chosley granted lands to Thomas Davy, as did Hugh de Southstede of Docking to Thomas Chosell of Beston, in Edward the Third's reign, and Richard, son and heir of Thomas Davy of Chosele, enfeoffed Nicholas Wylly, of Dockyng, &c. in his lands, rents, and foldcourses in Chosel and Tichwell, in the 21st of Richard II. and in the following year, Catherine late wife of Richard, son and heir of Thomas Chosyll, released to Nicholas Wylly, &c. all her lands, and of her late husband in this town, Titchewell, and Docking, to which Sir Ralph Lovell of Tichwell, Knt. Henry Nottingham of Holme, &c. were witnesses; the Chosells had considerable interest here, in the 5th of Edward III. Peter, son of Peter de Chosle, &c. convey to Robert de Holewell, 2 messuages, 240 acres of land, and 3s. rent here.
John Willy of Lynn-Bishop's son and heir of John Willy of Chosyll, and Margaret his wife, sold to Sir Thomas Lovell, Knight of the Garter, and treasurer of the King's household, May 1, in the 5th of Henry VIII. this manor, with 543 acres of land, and two foldages by fine; who by his will in 1522, bequeathed it to his cousin Sir Francis Lovell of East-Herling; and in the 16th of Elizabeth, August 10, Sir Thomas Lovell sold Chosel manor in Docking, (as it is then called) to Thomas Read, and so came to Robert Read, Gent. lord of the manor of Burton Lazars in this village, and passed with that (as is above observed) to the Lady Theophila Harris, &c.
Here was in ancient days a church belonging to this village: I find it mentioned in the 52d of Henry III. and was appropriated to the priory of Nutley in Buckinghamshire, by the founder Walter Gifford Earl of that county, with 40 acres of glebe land, and was valued at 8 marks, and paid Peter-pence 6d.