Taverham Hundred: Sprouston

Pages 458-464

An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 10. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1809.

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The Conqueror had a lordship in this town, which Godric (as his steward) took care of; Edric had been ejected, who was lord in the time of the Confessor, when there were 3 carucates of land, one villain, and 6 borderers, a carucate in demean, and 2 among the tenants, &c. paunage for 6 swine, several freemen in Catton, Beeston, Wroxham, and Rackheath belonged to it, and it was valued with them at the survey at 60s. but in the Confessor's time at 20s. was one leuca long and 8 furlongs broad, and paid 15d. gelt. (fn. 1)

Robert de Mounteney held, in the reign of Henry II. this lordship of Sir Richard de Lucy, lord chief justice of England: it came to that family by the grant of King Henry I. to Sir Richard, and to Sir Arnold de Mounteney, on the marriage of Dionysia, 4th daughter and coheir of that knight; this Robert was probably son of Sir William de Mounteney, who married Lecia, eldest daughter and coheir of Jordan Briset, a baron, and Muriel his wife, founders of the priory of St. John of Jerusalem, near Smithfield, London, in 1100.

In 1306, Sir Arnold de Mounteney was lord, and patron of the priory of Ging Mounteney in Essex.

In the 3d of Henry IV. John Lancaster held here, in Catton, Beeston, &c. 3 quarters of a fee, late Mounteneys, of the Earl of Rutland; after this it was in the Jermys in the reign of Edward IV.

Sir John Jermy and Margaret his wife, grant the site of Mounteney manor in this town, with 4 messuages, 200 acres of pasture, 2 of land, 6 of wood, 500 of furze, with a free-fold, and 30s. rent per ann. to John Corbet, Esq. in 1545, and his posterity enjoyed it till it was sold by Sir Thomas Corbet, Bart. to Sir Thomas Adams, Bart.


(fn. 2) Corbet bore, or, a raven proper;—the crest, a squirrel seijant, cracking a nut, proper.

(a) John Corbet, of that name senior, of Spikesworth, Gent. made his will April 25, 1540, proved May ===, 1542, to be buried in the church of Spikesworth, left 3 sons, John Corbet, sen. and John Corbet, jun. Thomas a priest, and Cœcilia, the wife of Edmund Allen, lord of Eartham.—Reg. Cook, Norw. p. 145.

He is said to be a third son of - - - - Corbet of Morton in Shropshire.

(b) He was a lawyer: on July 19, Ao. 32 of Henry VIII. had a grant of a fold-course here, belonging to the see of Norwich: in the 1st of Queen Mary, Thomas Duke of Norfolk demised to him a foldcourse in Sallows, part of Wroxham manor, for 15 years, with lands, being then in the service of the Duke; had the lordships of WoodBastwick, and Ranworth, by an exchange for Ludham Bacon's manor, with Bishop Rugg, and by the King's license; lord of Chambery hall, in South Walsham, &c. his will is dated December 26, 1558, and proved January 10, following, wherein he names James Nunne, or Noon, his son-in-law; in the 25th of Henry VIII. Thomas Cappe, master of St. Gyles hospital in Norwich, let lands here to him.

(c) Sir Miles's second wife Catherine, daughter of Saunders, was relict of John Spilman, Esq. of Narburgh, he died in 1609; his daughter Elizabeth married Henry Richers, Esq. of Swanington.

(d) Thomas Corbet, Esq. was high sheriff of Norfolk in 1622, and in 1635, knighted by King Charles I. at Royston; Anne his wife was heiress to her mother Elizabeth, daughter and coheir of Sir Robert Litton of Shrubland Hall in Suffolk, he was also lord of Eccles, by the sea.

Ann, his widow, living in the 19th of Charles I. Sir John Corbet, then living, as was Miles her second.—William Corbet of London, merchant, and Lydia his wife,—Edward Corbet of North Repps.— Thomas Corbet of London, merchant, and Sarah his wife.

Miles Corbet, Esq. was of Lincolns Inn, the time of the long parliament; he was one of the registers in Chancery, worth 700l. per ann. chairman of the committee for scandalous ministers, of 1000l. per ann. and chairman of a committee in 1642, as by an order under his hand, dated November 10, to John Hunt, serjeant at arms, to arrest and bring before him William Marsh, Gent. and being one of King Charles's judges, signed the warrant for his execution.

At the restoration he fled into Holland, where he was seised on, by Downing, the King's envoy, sent into England in 1661, and executed as a traitor: he is also said to be Chief Baron of the Exchequer.

Sir Thomas had also several daughters; Catherine married to Sir J. Mead, of —; Anne, to — Fexon, of —; Amy, to — Brewster of Wrentham in Suffolk; Ellen, to — Herick of —; Cecily, to Thomas Sotherlon, Esq. of Taverham; Dorothy, to — Slany.

Sir Thomas Adams, who purchased this lordship of Sir Thomas Corbet, Bart, was son of Thomas Adams, Gent. of Wem in Shropshire, lord mayor of London in 1645, afterwards was knighted, on December - -, 1663, created a baronet, died at his house in Ironmonger's Hall, London, February 24, 1667, aged 81; and on the 10th of March his corps was solemnly conveyed to St. Catherine Creed church in the said city, attended by the lord mayor, aldermen, draper's company, the governours of St. Thomas's Hospital, and heralds at arms; where a funeral sermon was preached by Dr. Hardy, dean of Rochester; the body was placed in the vestry of that church, and on the 12th carried in a herse and buried in the chancel of this church.

Adams's Pedigree.

(fn. 3) The arms of Adams—ermine, three cats passant, azure.

From the family of Adams it was sold to Sir Lambert Blackwell, Bart. created baronet of Sprouston-Hall, July 16, 1718; who bore paly of six, argent and azure, in a bordure ermine, on a chief gules, a lion passant of the first, and remains in the family.

The Conqueror had also another lordship in this town, which William de Noiers took care of, as his steward, or bailiff; Stigand the Archbishop held it before the Conquest, in his own right, as a lay fee, and was ejected; it consisted then of 140 acres of land, and 3 carucates of meadow, &c. was one leuca long, and 8 furlongs broad, paid 15d. gelt, whoever possessed it, and was valued in the manor of Thorp, by Norwich, of which Stigand was also lord before the Conquest. (fn. 4)

This lordship seems to have been held by parceners in ages past.

Roger de Sprouston was lord by deed sans date, about the reign of Henry III. as appears by ancient record sans date, wherein it is specified that his villains were to mow and shear his lands, each villain 2 days; to be kept at that time by the lord, and to have for their dinner one loaf of barley, each of them; eleven of which loaves made a bushel, and a herring, or fish, and cheese of the price of a quarter of a farthing, and at this time the master of St. Gyles's hospital in Norwich held 20 acres of land of this lord.

Reginald le Bydun, Robert and Henry his brothers, of Sprouston, and Philip le Levord, with Margaret his wife, grant by deed sans date, to Margaret Nunde of Sprouston, and Peter her son, their villains on their paying to them 12d. per ann. for their works, which they and their ancestors performed to them, and their ancestors in Sprouston, viz. for 8 days works in autumn, one day carrying dung, with a cart and horses, and for 5 hens and a cock, but they were to continue in the same state, and to perform certain other services; for this grant they paid 10s.

Richard, son of Roger le Loverd of Sprouston, confirmed to Reginald, son of John Herman of Norwich, for 20s. Roger Hunting his villain in this town, cum totâ sequelâ, and his tenement, with the appertenances, all his cattle that he then had, or should acquire, by deed sans date.

In the 16th of Edward I. Adam de Creting was impleaded by Isolda de Mounteney, on account of the presentation to the church of Plumsted Parva; her plea was,

"Ernald de Mounteney, lord of Sprouston (to which lordship the "patronage of the said church belonged) had enfeoffed her in the same.

Adam pleads that he held the lordship of Sprouston, to which the patronage belonged, and it was allowed to be his right.

Regmala de Sprouston was lord, and presented to the church in 1300, and 1307, and Hugh de Sprouston in 1335.

William de Wychingham and Robert de Yelverton had an interest herem, in the 35th of Edward III. they gave the patronage of this church to the priory of Norwich.

In the 14th of Richard II. Roger Crispin of Sprouston and Mary his wife, surrendered by fine this lordship, called late Sir Hugh Sprouston's, to John Aslake of Bromholm from the heirs of Mary, probably a daughter of Sprouston; and in the 14th of Edward IV. Thomas Aslake and Elizabeth his wife passed it by fine to Walter Aslake, quit of the heirs of Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Thomas Bardolf, as is said.

Walter Aslake, Esq. of Sprouston had a protection in the 10th of Henry VI. being in France in the retinue of John, Duke of Bedford.

After this it was in the Calthorps, and Sir Henry Parker and the lady Elizabeth his wife, daughter and heir of Sir Philip Calthorp, who died in the year 1535, inherited this manor of Aslake's.

Sir Philip Parker had livery of it about the 20th of Elizabeth, with the advowson of the church, and sold it to Sir Miles Corbet, who was lord in the 34th of Elizabeth, and so was united to the other manor before mentioned.

There was a small fee in this village, and that of Beeston, at the survey, held by Robert Malet, lord of Horseford, out of which 2 freemen in Beeston, and 3 in Sprouston were ejected, who had 64 acres of land, and one borderer, and a carucate and an acre of meadow, valued at 6s; the King, and the Earl had the soc. (fn. 5)

This always went along with the manor of Horseford.

The tenths were 6l.—Deduct 1l. 10s.

The Church is dedicated to St. Margaret, and was a rectory, valued at 16 marks; the prior of Norwich had a portion of tithe valued at one mark, and after it was appropriated to the said priory, and is now in the dean and chapter of Norwich, and served by a stipendiary curate, at their nomination.

Thomas de Blumvyle Bishop of Norwich confirmed to the monks of Norwich, the grant of John de Grey Bishop, of 2 parts of the tithe of Sprouston and Catton, of 2 garbs of the demean lands of Arnold de Mounteney, for the use of the almoner; and the rectors of those churches had the 3d garb, also of 3 acres of land of Hugh de Sprouston. (fn. 6)

Peter-pence 16d.—Carvage 4d.


Hugh de Fakeham, rector sans date.

Reginald, occurs rector about 1260.

1300, John de Sprouston, presented by Reginald de Sprouston.

1307, Thomas de Holt. Ditto.

In 1335, Hugh de Sprouston was patron, and presented.

In 1361, William de Wychingham, and Robert de Yelverton, probably as trustees, granted the advowson to the priory of Norwich, and Thomas Percy, the Bishop, appropriated it November 12, in the said year.

The King granted his license before, on May 8, for which the prior and convent had paid 40 marks, and it was to find 2 monks of that convent, (capellanes) to study in any university, to perform divine service daily for ever, for the souls of Hugh de Sprouston and Margery his wife, and Reginald and Tifania, his father and mother, and Thomas de Baldeswell, and the souls of all the faithful.

1373, Richard de Carlton, by the prior: it was again appropriated April 15, 1385, by Henry Spencer, Bishop of Norwich; a pension of 10s. per ann. being reserved to the Bishop.

In the chancel of the church it a mural monument of alabaster, with the pourtraitures of Sir Miles Corbet, his 2 wives, and children on their knees,

Here lieth the bodies of Sir Miles Corbet, and of Catherine his first wife, one of the daughters of Sir Christopher Heydon of Baconsthorp, Kt. who had by her 8 sons and 3 daughters, also he took to his second wife Dame Catherine, one of the daughters of Nicholas Sanders of Ewell, Esq. and had by her one daughter, which Sir Miles deceased 19, day of June, in 1607.

On the north side, a tomb,

In memory of John Corbet, Esq. and Jane his wife, daughter of Ralph Berney, Esq.

Arms in the church windows were,

Corbet impaling Berney, Berney impaling Southwell. Heydon. Woodhouse of Kimberley; or, a chevron between three torteaux. Glemham, Earl Warren. Mounteney, Argentine. Calthorp impaling Aslake, sable, a chevron, ermin, between three Catherine wheels, argent. Calthorp and Argentine. Barry, and Aslake. Argent, a cross sable, the arms of Norwich priory.


  • 1. Tra Regis quam Godric'. servat. —Sprowestuna, tenuit Edricus T.R.E. iii car. tre. t'nc. i vill. t'nc. vi bor. mo. v t'nc. i car. in d'nio. p'. et mo. dim. t'nc. ii car. hom. p'. et mo. i et alie possent restaurari, silva vi por. &c. t'nc. val. xx sol. mo. lx et ht. i leug. in long. et viii quar. in lat. et xvd. de gelto.
  • 2. Sir John was created baronet September 12, 1623, died January 19, 1627, buried at St. Margaret's Westminster, in the north isle.
  • 3. She was relict of — Bulwer of Chillingham in Cornwall, and in 1699, was the wife of Sir Roushout Cullen, Bart.
  • 4. Tre Stigandi Ep. quas custodit W. Noiers in manu Regis.—In Sprowestuna cxl ac. tre. tnc. iii car. p'. et mo. ii et iiii ac. prati silva iiii porc. et ht. i leug. in long. et viii quar. in lat. et xv d'. de gelto, quicq. ibi teneat. hoc, etia'e. in p'tio de Thorp.
  • 5. Terre Roberti Malet.—In Sprotuna iii lib. ho'es, et in Besetuna ii et h'nt. lxiiii ac. tre. et i bord. semp. i car. et i ac. p' sol. rex. et Comes soca.
  • 6. Reg. 2, Eccles. Cath. Norw. fol. 6, 81.