An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 10. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1809.
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This town does not occur in the Book of Domesday, so as to give us a satisfactory account of the tenure of the principal lordship; we only meet with a small fee or lands which St. Etheldreda (that is the church of Ely) held in Thurton and Thorp, in this hundred, as may be there seen, and are said to belong to Berc, with all their customary dues, and to be valued there. See in Thurton in this hundred, and Thorp in Clavering hundred.
Agnes, widow of Warine Lord Muntchensy, son of Hubert, held it about the 30th of Henry II. being then 60 years of age, (daughter of Pain Fitz-John,) of the church of Ely, as said, and was a widow, in the King's disposal or gift; Sir William and Sir Ralph de Montchensy were her sons, and Hubert, who was a clerk; also 2 daughters, one married to Stephen de Glanvile, the other to William Paynel. (fn. 1)
William de Montchensy, by deed, sans date, grants to Ralph de Bradeker, all the land which was Gilbert de Karleman's, belonging to his manor of Bergh, paying 12d. per ann. witnesses, Richard de Sei'ges, William de Manors, William Fitz-Jeffrey, Warine, son of Ralph, Richard Wassing ford, &c.
Warine Lord Montchensy gave in the 15th of King John, 2000 marks for livery of his inheritance; and had by Joan his wife, daughter and coheir of William Marchal Earl of Pembroke, William his son and heir, who married Dionysia, daughter and heir of Nicholas de Anesley, whose son, William, leaving an only daughter and heir, Dionysia, brought this lordship, &c. to Hugh de Vere; and dying without issue, her inheritance descended to Joan, her father's sister, married to William de Vatentia Earl of Pembroke, lord of Bergh and Apeton. In the 7th of Edward II. his son and heir Aymer, Earl of Pembroke, married Mary, daughter of Guy de Chatillon Earl of St. Paul in France, but dying in the 17th of Edward II. his two sisters were found to be his heirs.
Isabel, the eldest, had a grant of dispensation from the Pope, on account of consanguinity, to marry Jn. de Hastings, Lord of Abergavenny; and Joan, the youngest, married John Comyn, Lord of Badenhagh, in Scotland.
John de Hastings Earl of Pembroke dying s. p. in the 13th of Richard II. settled (through the persuasion of his mother, as is said) the Hastings estate on her nephew, Sir William Beauchamp, 2d son of Thomas Earl of Warwick, by Catherine his wife, daughter of Roger Mortimer Earl of March, sister to Agne mother of John Earl of Pembroke, aforesaid, by Laurence Earl of Pembroke.
Great lawsuits commenced on account of this settlement, between Reginald Grey, lord of Ruthyn, as heir, and Sir William Beauchamp, which was compromised in the 15th of Richard II. and Sir William had a grant of this lordship, &c. with the barony of Abergavenny, in Wales.
Joan, widow of Sir William, sister and coheir of Thomas Earl of Arundel, died seized of the castle and manor of Abergavenny, Pembroke's Inn in London, and Kederminster in Worcestershire, as part of her dower.
Richard Beauchamp, his son and heir, was Earl of Worcester, and by Isabel his wife, daughter and coheir of Richard, son and heir of Thomas Lord D'Spencer, had a daughter and sole heir, Elizabeth, who brought the inheritance to her husband, Sir Edward Nevill, Lord of Abergavenny, in her right, 4th son of Ralph Nevill Earl of Westmoreland; at his death in the 16th of Edward IV. George was his son and heir, who, by his will, dated 1498, at Chartham in Kent, bequeaths his body to be buried in the monastery of St. Pancras at Lewis in Sussex, "where I have lately made a tomb." (fn. 2) By Eliz. his wife, he had George, his son and heir.
Elizabeth his widow, by her will, dated April 14, 1500, gives her body to be buried in the church of St. Martin, Outwich, London, in Bishopsgate-street, in a vault of the chapel of our Lady there, by Richard Nayler her husband; and wills a priest to pray there, for the souls of George Lord Abergavenny, Richard Nayler, Rowland Basset, and John Stokker, her husbands: she was the daughter of William Brent of Chartham.
George Nevill Lord Abergavenny, their son and heir. had by Mary his 2d wife, daughter of Edward Duke of Bucks, Henry his son and heir, who married Frances, daughter of Thomas Earl of Rutland; he dying in the 29th of Elizabeth, left an only daughter and heir, married to Sir Thomas Vane; so that his brother Edward's son succeeded him in honour and estate, and was Lord Abergavenny.
At the time of the lawsuit abovementioned, John Maycote of Brenchesley, in Kent, deposed that he then lived with Sir William Brenchesley, who was of counsel to Sir William Beauchamp, (afterwards a judge,) and one day he invited to dinner at his house at the end of Paternoster-row, London, all the said counsel, viz. Sir Robert Charleton, William Pynchebek, William Brenchesley, John Catesley, and other judges of the law; and at the end of dinner, he arose from table, went into his chapel, and a little while after, came back, laid a noble before each counsel on the table, saying,
"Sirs, for God's sake inform me fully whether I have any right or not, and delay me no longer." They sitting in doubt of his anger, William Pynchbeck, said, "Sir William, certainly there is no man who will assure you those lands and lordships, unless you have a release from the heirs of Hastings, and that heir being under age, his release would not signify:" upon this the composition was made afterwards.
Sir Andrew de Hengham had an interest, and held lands of this manor, and for 35 marks of silver gave them to Henry de Norwich, clerk, in the 8th of Edward I. and in the 17th of Edward II. Henry de Heylesdon was found to hold in Bergh cum Apeton, the 16th part of a fee of the barony of Montchensy.
In the 5th of Edward III. Bartholomew Bateman and Petronilla his wife, John de Acre, and Anabilla his wife, conveyed to John de Berney and Sarah his wife, lands here, in Thurton, Sithing, and Mendham, part of which Agnes, widow of Henry de Heylesdon, held for life.
Richard de la Rokeley was also found in the 17th of Edward II. to hold lands here of the Earl of Pembroke, and Thomas his son held it in the 20th of Edward III. of Mary de St. Paul Countess of Pembroke, Adam Horne, in the 24th of Edward I. and Alice his wife, had granted by fine to Richard, son of William de la Rokeleys, 12 messuages, 253 acres of land, 5 of marsh, 4 of meadow, 7 of wood, 30s. rent here, in Apeton, Holveston, &c.
Richard Berney, Esq. of Langley sold his interest herein to Mr. Green, a yeoman, whose son Thomas enjoyed it: only 2 copyholders then belonged to it, and the free rents were about 13s. per ann. it was held in soccage, of the Lords Abergavenney's manor.
Here was also a little manor called Washingford's, from its owner: Francis Wolfe, Gent. of Thurton, bought it of William Westgate, and it was held of Bergh Apton manor, paying 2s. per ann. about the reign, of Queen Elizabeth.
Sarah, wife of John Berney, Esq. was buried in the chapel of St. Anne, in the church, and by his will in the 48th of Edward III. he gives a legacy to the making of a new window in the new chancel of this church.
In the reign of Edward I. William Lord Montchensy was patron of the church; the rector had then a manse, with 14 acres of land, and held it with Apton, and a mediety of the church of Holveston; there was also a vicarage erected out of the profits of the rectory, belonging to the fee of the prioress of Carhow, endowed with 30 acres of land, and valued together at 26 marks.
Holveston appears then to have been a village, and to have had a church to which there belonged two medieties; to one of these the rector of Bergh was presented in 1359, and so remains annexed at this time.