An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 11. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1810.
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FLEGG HUNDREDS, WEST AND EAST.
These two hundreds make up the deanery of Flegg. King Stephen, by letters patents, granted (as it is said) these two hundreds to Henry, his nephew, then abbot, and the monks of St. Bennet: (fn. 1) in the 18th of Henry III a composition was made between the abbot of St. Bennet, and the prior of Norwich, about wreck at sea, between Palling Cross, and Yarmouth Cross, two parts or the wreck being assigned to the abbot, and the third part to the prior: the two hundreds in the 34th of that King, were valued together with the hundred of Happing at 18l. and William de Burgh, farmed them of the King in 1266, at the same sum.
In the 2d of Edward I. John le Usher, had a grant of them at the said rent, and in the 14th of that King, William de Gyselham sued the prior of Norwich, for the rent of 12d. per ann. dne to the King, for the hundred of West Flegg, and in the 9th of Edward John de Clavering farmed them of the Crown.
King James I. in his 4th year, demised the hundreds of East and West Flegg, to Sir Charles Cornwalleys, Knt. during the life of Charies, eldest son of Sir William Cornwalleys; Thomas, second son of Sir Charles, and Thomas, son of Sir Wiltiam, paying 8l. 4s. 0d. per ann, with all their profits, &c. and 10l. increased rent lor the whole.
Sir Henry Spelnan supposes that the Danes made here their first settlement, as the nearest part of Norfolk, to the sea, being well secured by its site, water, &c. to maintain themselves therein, and also from the names of the towns ending in By, a Danish word (as he says) for an habitation, or village.
That the Danes made their first settlement here, and in this neighbourhood is not to be doubted, but that they gave names to these towns, is (as 1 conceive) a mistake. That the Britons had settlements here, and the Romans also, appears from the towns of Brancaster, Yarmouth, and Castor, in this neighbourhood; Brancaster, and Yarmouth, are derived undeniably from British words; Bran signifying a fortification, as Baxter interprets it; and Yarmouth, is the mouth of the river Yar, or Gar, a British word, called Jermouth also, and by the Romans, Garionenum, and indeed most of the other towns in these two hundreds are of the same original. I have more reason to believe the final syllable By, to the British than Danish; in Westmorland, we find the chief town called at this day Appleby, but by the Romans, (who had a station here) Aballaba, from the Britons; and Ireby, a market town in Cumberland, a station also of the Romans, called by them Arbela, or Arbeia; both these towns lie on rivers or water, which I take to be the true signification of By, or Ba; which word Ba, we find an initial syllable also to many towns, Baburgh, Bausey, Babingley in this county, and many other in different counties, all lying by some river, or water; and indeed the towns of these hundreds of Flegg take their name from a low, moist, watery site.