An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 10. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1809.
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Part of this town was a beruite, or manor depending on the capital manor or honour of Mileham, held by Stigand Archbishop of Canterbury, a lay fee in his own right, and was deprived of it by the Conqueror, and farmed of him by William de Noiers; 4 carucates of land belonged to it, 9 villains and 11 borderers, and 5 servi, with 4 acres of meadow, 2 carucates in demean, and 9 amongst the tenants, only 5 at the survey, but the rest might be recovered, also 2 socmen with 4 acres and a half of land, one runcus, one cow, and 16 swine, 104 sheep, and 20 goats, and was valued in Mileham. (fn. 1)
Soon after this, Alan, son of Flaald, to whom the Conqueror granted the manor of Mileham, had also this with it as an appendix to, or part of, the said manor. This Alan was ancestor of the noble family of the Fitz Alans Earls of Arundel, and lords this manor and of Mileham, to which town, for an account of them, I refer the reader.
Alan granted it to Sewald, with the hundred of South-Greenhow, and Launditch, to hold of him and his heirs; of this Sewald was John Le Strange, descended, (as may be seen in the hundred of Launditch,) who in the 52d of Henry III. held here one fee, was of age, and not a knight; and in the 55th of Henry III. having impleaded the rector of Litcham for keeping the evidences of his lordship from him, released the action by deed dated at Knokyn, which shows that this family was related to that of Knokyn, in Shropshire; by Isabella his wife he had two sons, John and Ralph; John, the eldest, married Clementia, relict (as it is said) of Jordan de Sackvile, and daughter of Sir William de Burgh.
In the 14th of Edward I. Baldwin de Frevyle, appears to have some interest herein, and sued his bailiff, Richard de Clerk, to give him an account of what he had received here, in Wellingham, and Wesenham; and in the same year he impleaded John le Strange de la Marche, to acquit him of the service and payment of 15s. scutage, which Robert Burnel Bishop of Bath and Wells demanded of him for the manor which he held for the life of the said John, belonging to Richard Fitz Alan Earl of Arundel, then in the custody of that Bishop, his guardian.
The jury, in the 15th of that King, find that the said Baldwin de Frevyle claimed frank pledge by the view of the King's bailiff, assise, weyf and stray in this manor; and in the 20th year of the said King a fine was levied between John son of Ralph L'Strange of Lutcham and Isabell his wife, querents, and John de Waltham, parson of Snoring Parva, and Richard de Sutton, their trustees, deforciants of several messuages, 140 acres of land, a mill, 15 acres of meadow, 15 of marsh, 15 of heath, 29s. 8d. rent in Lucham, Mileham, Titeshale, Stanford and Bittering Parva, settled on John Waltham, who reconveyed them to John, son of Ralph and Isabel, for their lives, remainder to John (son of the aforesaid John) and Clementia his wife.
This John, son of John, on whom the remainder abovementioned was settled, died, as appears from the eschaet rolls, in the 33d of Edward I. and Ralph was then found to be his brother and heir; but by a fine levied in the 2d of Edward II. John, brother of Ralph, left a son of his own name, as may be seen in Wellingham, and it seems to be entailed on Ralph.
After this I find it in the family of De Felton, who had an interest here in the reign of Henry III. when Robert de Felton held half a fee of John le Strange de la Marche, that is, of the marshes in Wales, &c. and John, of the Fitz Alans, lords of Mileham; and in the 25th year of Edward I. Robert de Felton had the grant of a mercate every week at his manor of Lucham, and a fair yearly on the day and morrow of the feast of All-Saints, with free-warren: this seems to be that Robert who was knighted at Westminster about this time, with 300 young gentlemen, sons of noblemen and knights, at the feast of Pentecost, with great solemnity, at the high altar in the abbey church, on the creation of the King's son, Prince of Wales, who was knighted also with them; in the roll he is styled Robert, son of Robert, son of Pagan; and John de Felton was lord in the 9th of Edward II.
Sir Thomas Felton, sen. granted in the 5th of Edward III. to Richard de Lambeth, citizen of London, 40l. per ann. out of his manor of Lutcham, and in the 20th of that King. Sibill de Felton was found to hold half a fee of the Earl of Arundel; and Sir Thomas de Felton, Knt. of the Garter, died seized of it in or about the 4th of Richard II. with the advowson of the church, and Mary, his eldest daughter, by Joan his wife, was found to be married to Sir Edmund Hengrave, and Sibilla to Sir Thomas de Morley: Sir Thomas Felton was governour of Aquitain in France, and taken prisoner in 1377.
Joan de Felton, (fn. 2) widow of Sir Thomas, held it in the 4th of Henry IV. by half a fee, of the Earl of Arundel, and on her death (as I take it) it came to Cecilia, daughter of John Breton, Esq. of Wychingham Magna, by Mary his wife, daughter of Sir Hamon de Felton; who released to Sir Thomas Erpingham and his heirs, all her right in the manor of Felton's called Netherhall, in Litcham, and in the advowson of the church, in the 10th of the aforesaid King.
In the pedigree of the Wodehouses of Kimberley, (fn. 3) Sir Edward Wodehouse, who lived in the reign of Richard II. Ao. 1378, is said to have married a daughter and coheir of - - - - Erpingham," and that one of the family married Joan, a daughter and coheir of Sir Thomas Erpingham, who brought the manor of Netherhall in this town into the family, is certain; but as Sir Thomas Erpingham was living in the reigns of Henry V. and VI. and died in 1426, it could not be his daughter and coheir Joan, who married the aforesaid Sir Edward Wodehouse.
This lordship was given by Sir Edward Wodehouse, Bart. in the reign of Charles the 2d, to Edmund his second son, on whose death, in 1727, it came to Sir John Wodehouse, and his son Sir Armine Wodehouse is lord.
Was in the days of King Edward, the lordship of Turchetel, but on the Conquest was granted to Hermerus de Ferrarijs, ancestor of the Lords Bardolf, barons of Wirmegay in Norfolk, when it contained 3 carucates of land, 3 villains, 3 borderers, 4 servi, 8 acres of meadow 2 carucates in demean, one amongst the tenants, &c. a mill, and 3 socmen held 4 acres and one virgate of land, &c. the moiety of the church, with 4 acres, and there belonged to the lord half a carucate of land, 2 borderers, the 4th part of a mercate, and William held it under Hermerus, and half a carucate, with 2 acres of meadow, &c. in Thorp, (Wesenham,) valued at 50s. and 10s. over: the whole was 8 furlongs long, 6 broad, including a manor in Roughum, and paid 7d. gelt. (fn. 4)
This lordship of the Lord Bardolf extended also into Dunham Magna, and East Lexham: that part of it which was in this town seems to be held by Sir John Gedding, and conveyed by him to Alice, daughter of Sir John Strange, for 63 marks, by deed sans date, as I have above mentioned.
In the 8th of Richard II. Thomas Gardiner, Esq lord of Gissing, held in right of his wife Cecilia, daughter of John Breton, Esq. and Mary his wife above mentioned a fourth part of this lordship, and in the 9th of the said King, a fine was levied, wherein John Petere of Long-Stratton, and Claricia, his wife, convey to Joan, widow of Sir Thomas de Felton, John de Waltham, and John Churchman, her trustees the manor of East Hall in Lutcham, and lands in Titleshale, from the heirs of Claricia, and in 18th of the said reign, the Lord Bardolf was found to hold in this town, East Lexham, Dunham Magna, Elingham Magna, and Kempston 5 fees.
Sir John Tiptoft had in right of his wife Jocosa, the third part of this manor 180, acres of land, 4 of pasture, the third part of a watermill, with rents of assise, and perquisites of court, by the 40th part of a fee: the lady Jocosa was a daughter and coheir of Edward Cherlton Lord Powys, by Alianore his wife, daughter of Thomas, and sister, and coheir to Edmund Holland Earl of Kent, widow of Roger Mortimer Earl of March, Joan, the other daughter and coheir of Edward Lord Powys, being married to Sir John Grey.
After this it came to Sir Thomas Erpingham, who was lord of the whole, and by his daughter and coheir Joan, to - - - - - - Wodehouse, and Sir Edward Wodehouse, by a fine levied in the 18th of Edward IV. was lord of East Hall and Nether Hall.
The Church is dedicated to All-Saints, is a neat, regular pile, with a nave covered with reed, a north and south isle, and a chancel covered with lead; at the west end of the nave, a square tower of brick, with coins of free-stone, and embattled, with a clock and dial, built by Mathew Halcot, a tanner, who new cast the bells, and gave the clock.
In memory of John Glover, Gent. erected by Martha his real sorrowful widow, who to perpetuate his memory has given 40s. per ann. payable out of lands in this parish, by the minister and church-wardens to the poor thereof, on the feast day of St. John the Evangelist, he died May 23, 1741, in his 48th year; with these arms on the summit, sable, a fess embattled, ermin, between three crescents, argent.
In memory of Edward Girling, late of Litcham, Gent. son of Edward and Ann Girling of Norwich, who died March 27, 1736, aged 30.—Vixit Legis municipalis peritus, in praxi sagax, integer, erga Deum pius, conjugis amans, erga parentes moriger amicis gratus, omnibus flebilis; and this shield, argent, on a bend, per pale, gules and azure, between two bendlets engrailed, sable, three lis of the first.
In memory of William Neale, the late worthy rector of this parish, and vicar of Kempston, son of John Neale, (fn. 5) late rector of Mileham, and Elizabeth his wife died June 30, 1741. aged 56.