Taverham Hundred: Wroxham

Pages 473-478

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 principal lordship in this town was at the survey, in the hands of Ralph de Beaufoe.

Stigand Archbishop of Canterbury held it in the time of the Confessor, in his own right, as a temporal fee, but was deprived at the conquest. Stigand had 2 carucates of land, with 9 villains, 5 borderers, and 2 carucates in demean; one carucate and an half among the tenants, 20 acres of meadow, 4 cows, and 20 swine, &c. 100 sheep, (fn. 1)

Thirteen socmen held 40 acres of land, and 2 acres, and 2 carucates of meadow.

The King and the Earl had the soc, and 7 freemen possessed 210 acres, and 3 carucates and an half of meadow, &c.; the lordship was valued then at 3l. at the survey at 4l. and what the freemen held at 38s.

In the same town, 3 freemen of Harold had a carucate and 50 acres, and there were 2 villains and 6 borderers, with 3 carucates of meadow; also 3 freemen had a carucate and 20 acres, here were two churches endowed with 32 acres of land valued at 3s. It was one leuca and an half long, and one broad, and paid 30d. gelt.

In Domesday Book, it is wrote Uroceham, and Urochesham, U, or UU, are often met with, as initial letters to many towns; thus UU, or Wydetuna, (Wooton,) Ultrelvna, (Wolterton,) &c. always signifying water. Ro, is also found often in the first, and second syllable, as Rochford, Rock, or Rocheland, Rockley, &c. and signifies the name of some rivulet, or stream of water.

Ralph de Beaufoe left a daughter and heir Agnes, who married Hubert de Rie, castellan of Norwich, and being a widow, granted the tithes of her manor of Wrokesham, to the prior of Norwich.

William de Cheyney was lord in the reign of King Stephen, who by his deed sans date, granted to Reginald de Wroxham, all the land and liberties that his father Reginald held here, with all its profits and appertenances, except 10 husbandj, (fn. 2) with all their tenements, to have and to hold of him, and his heirs, in fee and inheritance, paying 3s. per ann. at St. Michael, for all services, customs, &c.—witnesses, Hervey Fitz Peter, Miles de Riveshale, Arnold Fitz Peter, Jeff. de Binetre, Gilbert de Roxham, Roger de Racheth, &c. to this deed was a large round seal, of him on horseback, armed, cap-a-peè, his sword drawn, in his right hand, legend—

Sigillum Will'mj de Kyneto.

This William was son of Robert Fitz Walter, by Sibilla his wife, daughter and heiress of Ralph de Cheyney, and assumed the name of Cheyney, and with his wife founded the priory of Horsham St. Faith's, as may be there seen at large, and in Horsford: by Gilla his wife, he left 3 daughters and coheirs, Margaret, the eldest, married Hugh de Cressi, Roger de Cressi her son, in the first of King John, married Isabel, youngest daughter and coheir of Hubert de Rye, and had with her a moiety of the barony of Rhy.

Margaret aforesaid gave her lordship here, with the advowson of the church to the priory, and nuns of Carhou, by Norwich; and Jordan de Sackvile, who married Clementia her sister, released in the 2d of Henry III. to the said Margaret, all their right in the inheritance of the family of De Cheyney, in this town, by fine.

In the 6th of Henry III. the prioress of Carhou, granted to Alex ander de Wroxham, lands to be held of her; and in the 21st of that King, Hugh, son of Maybil, gave 20s. to hold a moiety of his father's lands and messuage, and to have liberty to marry when he pleased, but to be still the prioress's man; the prioress held a court, and lete in the 24th of the said reign at Dunehill, whom the lady Agnes de Munchensy, was prioress, and the lady of Sir John Helington, and the lady of Jeff. de Lodnes, and other free tenants were present, and renewed their pledges, before the whole soke, as the court-rolls testify.

In the 15th of Edward I. the prioress claimed free-warren, assise, a tumbrell, &c. and the jury find that she had appropriated the common river belonging to the King, from Roxham bridge, to a place called Wyndene.

John de Hecham had license to alien in the 18th of that King lands and tenements here, &c. valued at 5 marks per ann. to the prioress; about this time I find mills here, in one year, valued at 7l. 17s. in another at 6l. 3s. 2d. and in the 35th of the said reign, Nicholas, son of Thomas de Kirkby, aliened to the nuns, a messuage, with 28 acres, and 4 of marsh in this town.

In the 3d of Henry IV. the prioress was found to hold one fee here of the barony of Rye, and in 1428, the temporalities of the prioress were valued at 20l. 11s. 6d. ob.

At the general Dissolution it came to the Crown, and King Henry VIII granted this lordship, with that of Sallows, lands and tenements, on May 9, in his 29th year, to Thomas Howard Duke of Norfolk, on whose attainder it came to the Crown, and King James I. on June 17, in his first year, gave it to Henry Howard, Earl of Northampton, who conveyed it in the following year to Sir Miles Corbet of Sprouston, the said Earl having surrendered it into the King's hands for that purpose, and Sir Miles, on July 13, in the 3d of the said King, had a grant of this manor, with all the rents of assise of free and customary tenants, valued at 18l. 16s. per ann. with lands, tenements, meadows, fishery in the river from Wroxham bridge to Hockman's-Acre-fold course, and the free farm rent of 34l. 16s. per ann. with the rectory and patronage of the vicarage.

In the family of Corbet it continued till on the death of Sir Thomas Corbet, Bart it came to his sister and coheir, Elizabeth, the wife of Robert Houghton, Esq. who about 1690, sold it to John Woodhouse.

The Harbords presented as lords to the vicarage in 1731. Harbord Harbord, Esq. in 1736.

The Conqueror had in this village a manor, which Godric took care of as his steward, when the survey was made, two freemen held it of Edric, lord of Sprouston, in the time of King Edward, and were deprived, 60 acres of land belonged to it, 2 borderers, and 2 carucates, and was valued in Eaton by Norwich, (fn. 3) which was also the lordship of Edric, called in the survey under that town, Edric de Laxfield.

The lord Ralph Mallet seems to have had a grant of it from the Crown, soon after the survey it is certain that the descendants of Walter de Cadomo, whom that lord had enfeoffed of the lordship of Horsford possessed it, as did his son, William de Cheyney, who was lord in the time of King Stephen, whose daughter and coheir, Margaret, brought it to Hugh de Cressi, which Margaret, gave it to the priory of Carhow, with the manor above-mentioned, and so continued, till on its dissolution it was given to the Duke of Norfolk, and so was united to, and passed with the lordship aforesaid.

Ralph Stalra, of the abbot, &c. of St. Bennet, held 4 socmen here, with a carucate of land, and these socmen lived in Hoveton, also a carucate and 8 acres of meadow, valued at 6s. which the said Ralph gave to the abbey of St. Bennet of Holm, in the time of William the Conqueror. (fn. 4)

In the 25th of Henry III. there was an agreement between the abbot, and the prioress of Carhow, whereby the abbot quit-claimed to her all his right of fishing, from Wroxham bridge, to the head of Wroxham park, and the prioress of all her right to the abbot in the water that runs between Wroxham bridge, and the house of St. Bennet's, saving to the nuns, their right in a pool, (fn. 5) called Flegg Dam, and to each party free passage over Wroxham bridge, and through the water, both above and below, so that neither party should put nets, into any part of the other, for which the abbot agreed to pay yearly, as had been accustomed, 1000 herrings in Lent, and a fine was levied accordingly.

In the 10th of Edward II. the King impleaded the abbot, who was found to have encroached on the bank and water that extended from Wroxham bridge, to Black Dam, which the King claimed as an arm of the sea, where ships and boats arrived, loaded and unloaded without toll, or any custom, and it was found before this, in the iter of Solomon de Rochester, &c. that the abbot had encroached and planted trees on the bank of the river, making it a several fishery, that was common before.

The temporalities of the abbot in 1428, were 25s. 4d.

On the exchange of the lands of this abbey, made between the King (Henry VIII) and the Bishop of Norwich, no doubt this came to the see though I have met with no mention of the manor of Wroxham, but is included in what is called Winds Messuage, &c. in the time of Bishop Rugg, John Corbet, Esq paid for the rent of a messuage, called Winaes, 100 acres of land in Salthous (Sallow's rather) demean lands of Bacons 38s. 11d. ob. the farm of the site of the manor, &c. 10l. perquisites of court 14s. 6d rent resolute to the bailiff of the Bishop's manor of Bacon's in Luaham 5s. 11d. to that of Heigham Potter 4s.— to the Lord Abergavenny's manor of Sutton, for the tent of a foldage 3s. 4d.

The manor of Mounteneys in Sprouston extended into this town, and in the 33d of Edward I. Nich. Rydel settled by fine on William his son 24 messuages, 2 mills, 200 acres of land, 12 of meadow, and 48s. rent here, and in Racheath, Bastwick, &c. and William Rydel was returned to have a lordship in the 9th of Edward II.

The tenths were 4l. 6s. 8d.— Deducted 10s.

The Church of Wroxham is dedicated to St. Mary, and was a rectory valued at 16 marks; the cellarer of the priory of Norwich had a portion of tithe, valued at 13s. 4d.—Peter-pence 2s. 8d.—Carvage 7d.

This rectory being granted with the lordship to the priory of Carhow, was appropriated thereto, by John de Grey, Bishop of Norwich, who also appropriated to the monks of Norwich, the aforesaid portion, which was confirmed by Bishop Blomvile; (fn. 6) on this a vicarage was founded, anciently valued at 24s. the presentation of which was in the prioress, &c. and the vicar had an augmentation, or portion of 34s.

The present valor of the vicarage is 7l. 17s. 1d. and is discharged.


In 1320, William de Cokethorp, instituted vicar, presented by the prioress, &c.

1323, William le Clever. Ditto.

1328, Thomas de Shotesham.

1329, Martin de Sandringham.

1350, Simon de Aquora.

1361, Robert Baxter.

1361, Simon Baret, (Apostolicus) by the Pope's provision.

1370, Roger de Segrave.

1389, Richard Franceys, and to the chapel of Salhous.

1407, Thomas Cocks.

1409, Ad. Smith.

1411, Mart. Mayhewe.

1416, Alan Smith.

1418, William Tanner.

John Reve, vicar.

1419, Mr. Robert Derham, LL. B.

1420, Thomas Young.

1421, Reginald Peper.

1428, William Hernald.

1433, Hugh Vowel.

1443, William Wright.

In 1447, the burser of the priory accounted for 6 bushels of malt given to the building of the church, and in the said year, the priory (as I find) paid to the vicar 34s. per ann. pension; also a quarter and 4 bushels of barley, 2 bushels of wheat, 2 of rye, 2 bushels of pease, and 2 of oats.

1448, Paul Erpingham.

1450, Robert Bond.

1462, John Elvys.

1468, Richard Sparhows.

1472, William Spink.

In 1489, there were gifts to the making of the new roof of the church.

1492, James Rightwyse.

1501, John Field.

1507, Robert Freeman.

1509, John White.

1514, Robert Eliot.

1523, Ralph Dukker.

1554, Richard Skip, collated by the Bishop, a lapse.

1559, John Young, by the Duke of Norfolk, who had with the manor (as before observed) the appropriated rectory and advowson of the vicarage.

1563, William Brest.

1573, Thomas Steward, by John Bleverhasset, William Dyx, &c.

1589, Robert Booth, by Miles Corbet, Esq.

1660, John Burr, by Sir Thomas Corbet, Bart.

1665, John Watson, by Robert Houghton, Esq.

1692, Richard Dix, by John Woodhouse, Esq.

1711, William King. Ditto.

1719, Thomas Gamble, by Ann Woodhouse, widow.

1731, Benjamin Young, by Harbord Harbord, Esq.

1736, William Garrard, by Harbord Harbord, Esq. on Young's death.

Here were the guilds of St. Mary, and St. John Baptist; the lights of St. Mary, St. John Baptist, Trinity, and Erasmous.


  • 1. Terra R. de Bellofago—Urochham tenuit Stigand. T.R.E. ii car. tre. tc. ix vill. p'. et mo. v bor. et ii car. in d'nio. tc. i car. et dim. ho'um. mo. i et xx ac. p'ti. et iiii an et xx por. silv. c. por. c. ov. et xiii soc. xl. ac. tre. et ii ac. p'ti. tc. ii car. mo. i et dim. rex et comes soca'. et vii lib. ho'es. ccx ac. t'c. iii car. et dim. p'. et mo. ii et xv ac. p'ti silv. xii per. et i car. et dim. posset restaurari. t'c. val. maneriu' iii lib. mo. iiii et vii lib. ho'es xxxviii sol. In ead. iii lib. ho'es. Heroldj i car. tre. et xxx ac. semp. ii vill. at vi bor. tc'. iii car. p'. et mo. ii et tertia posset restaurari et x ac p'ti. silva. xx por. et in ead. iii lib. ho'es. xx ac. i car. ii ecclesias xxxiii ac. terre. et val. iii sol. i leug. et dim. in long. et i leug. in lat. et xxxd. de gelto.
  • 2. An husband, was one with a family who held ploughed land of his lord, on certain servile tenures.
  • 3. Tra. Regis quam Godric' servant —In Urocsham ii lib. ho'es lx ac. tre. et ii bord. tc'. ii car. p'. et mo. i hoc. e. totu' in p'tio de Ettuna.
  • 4. Terra Sci Benedicti de Hulmo— In Urochesham tenuit Rad. Stalra. iiii soc. de i car. tre. et jacent in Hovetuna q'm. de R. dedit Sco. B. T. R. E. Willi. sep. i car. viii ac. p'ti. val. vi sol.
  • 5. Reg. abb. de Hulmo fol. 82, 85.
  • 6. Reg. i Ecc. Cath. Norw. fol. 37.