An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 10. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1809.
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So called from its site, near the bridge over the river; a bridge being there, as appears in Edward the Confessor's time; several persons had an interest then in this village: Alan, the great Earl of Richmond, had 30 acres of land, with a carucate of meadow, of which 3 freemen were deprived, who held it in King Edward's reign, under Guerd, or Guert, brother to King Harold, and one of Earl Goodwin's sons, valued at 4s. (fn. 1)
In the 26th of Edward III. Nicholas Maloysel held it; and Thomas Gyney, in the 3d of Henry IV. Thomas Lord Scales died seized of it in the 35th of Henry VI. John de Melton and Alice his wife, of Swanington, released to John de Brisingham, their right in the lands, &c. which they bought of Robert Maloysell in this town, and Taverham, in the 13th of Richard II.—witnesses, Robert de Berney, John White, Thomas Geney, Knights, &c.
William Bishop of Thetford held at the survey, in his own right, (as a lay fee, of which Gosfrid, a freeman, was deprived,) 16 acres of land, and there was a borderer, with half a carucate and 2 acres of meadow, valued at 6s. 8d. and a church with 60 acres, valued at 6d. (fn. 2)
William de Scohies had 35 acres of land, out of which 2 freemen, with 2 borderers, who held half a carucate and 2 acres of meadow, were expelled; and this was valued with Scohies lordship in Wichingham. (fn. 3)
Walter Giffard had also at the survey 5 acres and an half of land, of which 3 freemen were deprived, and 2 borderers, who held in King Edward's time 2 carucates of meadow, valued at 10s. (fn. 4)
William de Scohies was a Norman chief, and sold all his lordships in England to Walter Giffard Earl of Bucks, in the reign of Henry I. and they came soon after, by the marriage of an heiress of the Earl of Bucks, into the family of the Earls of Clare.
In the reign of Henry III. William de Lions, and Sibilla his wife, and Peter de Maloysel, held lands here, in Weston and Wichingham, of the Earl of Clare, and Nicholas Maloysel and Adam de Lyons, in the 20th of Edward III.
Walter Giffard's manor of Taverham extended into this town, and was held by Sir John de Eston, or Hestron. In the 30th of Edward I an assise was brought to know if Hortensia, widow of John de Eston, Ralph de Holveston, Cecilia de Holveston, and Isabel her sister, William de Wyltshire, parson of Alderford, Mabel his sister, and Gunnora de Holveston, had disseized Nicholas de Hestron and Margaret his wife, of lands in Attleburgh and Taverham, before Walter de Gyselham, and Hugh de Cressingham, justices.
In the 16th of Edward IV. they conveyed it by fine to Hugh Denne, and Henry Heydon, with a messuage, 50 acres of land, 7 of meadow, 3 of pasture, a marsh, 26s. and 1d. rent; and the liberty of a foldcourse.
Dean and Heydon, sell it to - - - - - - - Curtis, and he to - - - - - - Ellis, probably William Elys, Esq. one of the barons of the Exchequer, who is said to have enjoyed all the estates in this town.
Francis Bacon, one of the judges of the King's Bench, is said to have purchased the demeans of this manor of the Crown; (in whom the manor still continues) he married Elizabeth, daughter of William Robinson of Norwich, and was father of Francis Bacon, recorder of Norwich, whose daughter and sole heir Ann, brought it by marriage to Robert Davy, recorder of Norwich in 1701, and burgess for that city, who died s.p.
The site of this lordship of Brockdish, and Dighton's, so called from an ancient family, (of which was William Dighton, living in the 6th of Edward II. and Walter Dighton, in the 42d of Edward III. and had considerable possessions here) was compassed about with a moat.
In the 14th of Charles I. Dighton hills, in Attleburgh, and the heath, were conveyed (containing 300 acres of land) to Henry Lord Matrevers, being granted to Francis Braddock, and Christopher Kingscote of London, by letters patent February 10, Ao. 12, of James I. as concealed lands, under the seal of the dutchy of Lancaster.
Here were formerly, as appears from the Register of Norwich, (fn. 5) 5 foldcourses; Refham hall, belonging to John Berney, lord of it, formerly Joan Est's, daughter and heir of William Refham; Kaund foldage, sold by Walter Kaund, to Reymer Payn, vicar of Calthorp, so to Simon Est, and came after to Sir Peter Tye; Sauser foldage, sold by William Sauser, to Jeff. de Salle, and by him to Ralph de Holveston';
Sir Hervey de Stanhow quitclaimed to Roger, the prior, 4 marks rent, per ann. of the water-mill here, which they held of the grant of Hubert de Burgh, father of John de Burgh, and warranted to defend him against Sir John de Burgh. (fn. 6)
Nicholas de Hestru, son of Sir John, grants to the prior sans date, land for the use of the almoner, and Robert Isaac of Morton, to Roger, the prior, an acre of meadow, between the pool of Attleburgh mill, and that of Morton, for the said use.
Roger Maloysel of Swanington, to Henry, the prior, lands held of this fee at Attleburgh. In the 3d of Edward I. the prior had freewarren, and was found to have appropriated the water of the river, as his special fishery, formerly common, and to have the assise, a gallows, &c.
In this village, somewhere near the river, was an hermitage. On the 2d of August, in the 27th of Elizabeth, Theoph. Adams, and Thomas Butler, had a grant of the hermitage here; hermitages were generally thus seated in times of popery, on great roads, (this being called Walsingham Way) and by bridges, thus at Downham, Ickburgh, Brandon, &c. in Norfolk.
The Church is dedicated to St. Andrew, and was a rectory valued at 6 marks, granted by Heymer, rector of Felthorp, to the priory of Norwich, who had the patronage, after the decease, or recess of Walter Fitz Geffrey, rector of it, saving to the capellan that served it a competent sustenance, and was confirmed by William, son of William de Swathefield, the said Heymer gave also all his land in Attlebrigg, with all the liberties and appertenances in pastures, meadows, &c. so that it was esteemed a lordship. (fn. 7)