An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 10. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1809.
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Six freemen and the moiety of six other freemen under the commendation of Aslac, and Lefric held here a carucate and an half, and 20 acres of land; on their expulsion, Ralph Earl of Norfolk had a grant of it: on his rebellion and forfeiture, the King granted it to Godric his steward, who had also 5 acres, held by a freeman, and the moiety of another. (fn. 1)
William de Cheney was lord afterwards of it, and of Claxton, and Helgeton, and so came to the Cressys, and the family of Kerdeston was enfeoffed of it, from whom it came to the De la Poles, Dukes of Suffolk, &c. the Gaudys, &c. as in Claxton.
Roger Bigot, ancestor of the Earls of Norfolk, had a grant of lands which 10 freemen of Suetman were deprived of, being 30 acres, with a carucate and two acres of meadow; and there were 27 acres and a carucate, which 7 freemen had, the moiety of them was in Swetman. and Robert de Vaux held it under Roger Bigot.
Robert de Vaux held also under Roger, one socman, with 4 acres and 2 bovates, valued at 6d.
Robert de Vaux held under Roger 9 acres of land, which 2 freemen of Algar were deprived of, who ploughed it with 2 oxen.
The town was 9 furlongs, long, 5 broad, and paid 6d. gelt. (fn. 2)
The family of De Helgeton were enfeoffed of this lordship. In the 20th of Henry III. Sir William de Helgeton was found to hold half a fee in this town, Claxton and Helgeton, which was Thomas de Helgeton's, son of Herbert de Helgeton, and the Earl of Gloucester's manor extended into it.
In the 25th of Edward I. Sir William de Kerdeston purchased by fine of Sir Thomas de Helgeton, and Alice his wife, this lordship, and the reversion of several lands, except one messuage, with 7 acres of land; and the advowson of this church and that of Helgeton.
In the next year he purchased of John de Helgeton and Claricia his wife, 24 messuages, 3 mills, 320 acres of land, 9 acres and a half of meadow, 4 of wood, 125 of marsh, 3 and an half of pasture, 28s. and 3d. rent, with one pound of cummin, several capons, &c. per ann. in this town, Claxton, Helgeton, Holveston, Rockland, Thurton, and Carleton, with the advowsons of Ashby and Helgeton; so that the Kerdestons were lords of this manor, and the other before mentioned and after them the De la Poles, &c. Gaudys, Brereton, and — Crow, Esq. of Castor.
The Earl of Gloucester and Clare's manor of Carleton extended here, as I have observed; and in the 8th of Edward II. the heirs of Oliver Wyth were found to hold in this town, Carlton, &c. half a fee of the honour of Clare.
In the 20th of Edward III. Henry Withe, and his parceners, viz. the abbot of West Derham, &c. held of the Earl a quarter of a fee, which John Wythe, and Roger Broom formerly had; and in the 3d of Henry IV. Thomas Lord Mowbray was capital lord of Bigot's fee in this town, Claxton, &c. and the Earl of March, capital lord of the Clare or Gloucester fee.
The tenths were 1l. 10s.
The Church of Ashby is a rectory, dedicated to St. Mary, and was valued at 10 marks. Peter-pence 12d. carvage 8d. and the rector had a manse, with 30 acres of land, in the reign of Edward I. and Sir Thomas de Helgeton was lord and patron. The present valor is 6l.
Henry de Len, rector.
1301, Roger de Breton.
1316, Nicholas de Beynton, presented by Sir Robert de Burgulyon, Knt.
1342, John Shakelok, by Hugh de Burgulyon.
1349, Simon Wade, by Robert de Cleydon, and Solomon, rector of Caston.
1359, John Coleyn, by Solomon, rector of Caston.
1361, Simon Bere. Ditto.
Walter de Dunwich, rector.
1365, Tho. Flokke. Ditto.
1391, Thomas Chamberleyn, by Edmund de Clypesby, and Richard de Lyng.
1402, Robert Stalham, by Sir Miles Stapleton, and Sir William Argenton.
1419, William Smith, by Sir Leonard Kerdeston.
1433, John Attleburgh, by Thomas Lord Morley, and Sir Edmund Barry.
1435, Richard Fysher, by Sir Thomas Kerdeston.
John Hert, rector.
1438, John Werkton, by Sir Thomas Kerdeston.
1481, Stephen Pydd, by John Duke of Suffolk.
1496, Thomas Eyer, by Elizabeth Dutchess of Suffolk.
1500, Robert Oulton, rector.
1501, Thomas Robynson, by Charles Duke of Suffolk.
1524, Thomas Barsy. Ditto.
1567, Richard Toll, by Thomas Gawdy, serjeant at law.
1597, William Cockram, by Henry Gawdy, Esq. in 1603, he returned 90 communicants.
1606, William Flowerdew, by Sir Henry Gawdy.
1618, Robert Peachie. Ditto.
1662, John Feveryere, by Tho. Gawdy, Esq.
1685, Edward Yovell, by Cuthbert Brereton, Gent.
1701, Samuel Kirk, by Thomas Gawdy, Esq.
1723, Francis Brook, by Cuthbert Brereton, senior, Gent.
1746, Stephen Degullion, by William Smith, Gent. hac vice.
The church is a single pile, covered with tile, and has a square tower with three bells.
Here are gravestones for,
Robert Holmes, gent. who died 1698, aged 73; and for Anne his wife, who died in 1688, aged 67.
William Holmes, gent. who died in 1704, aged 44.
In the chancel, one for,
Edward Yovell, A.M. rector of Ashby cum Hellington, and rector of Carlton cum Claxton, who died June 16, 1701.