An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 11. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1810.
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William de Beaufoe, Bishop of Thetford, was the chief lord of this town, at the survey; Ketel a freeman held a moiety of it, under the protection of Almar Bishop of Elmham, being deprived of it; all Ketel's land here was so held of the abbey of St. Bennet, for their maintenance, that he could neither sell or grant it away; Ernast had invaded 57 acres of this land, with 10 of meadow, but Beaufoe had recovered it, and Bernar held it under the Bishop; one carucate in demean belonged to it, and there were under him (the Bishop) three freemen, who had 45 acres of land, and 8 of meadow, with a carucate and a half, valued at 10s. but at the survey at 20s. two parts of the church endowed with 7 acres, valued at 7d. belonged it; it was 5 furlongs long, 3 and half broad, and paid 20d. ob. gelt. (fn. 1)
This Bishop, at his death gave this lordship, which he held in fee, to his see, and successors, and several persons were enfeoffed herein, and held it of the see. (fn. 2)
In the 10th of Richard I. Christiana, daughter of Peter de Billokeby was petent, and Nicholas de Halebeck, tenent, of lands here; and in the 20th of Henry III. Ralph de Halebech, held half a fee of Robert de Caston, and he of the Bishop; and in the 15th of Edward I. the jury find that Steph. de Billoksby claimed view of frank pledge of his tenants, and Robert de Martham held half a fee of the Bishop.
In the 20th of Edward III. and in the 43d of that King, Nicholas Lacy, parson of Bradwell; and Adam de Skegelthorp, parson of Causton, as trustees, settled this manor and advowson on Reginald de Eccles and Agnes his wife.
Robert de Martham, by his will dated February 18, (fn. 3) and proved July 9, 1451, settled a moiety of the manor and lands on Robert Repps, who was to marry Elizabeth, his daughter and coheir; his other daughter and coheir Jane, being then single; mentions his father Robert, gives to Bennet his wife, all his utensils, waggons, and carriages, and animals, and 100s. per ann. dower.
In the 7th of Henry VII. on an inquisition taken November 8, Sir William Capel was found to die seised of a lordship here, and Sir Giles was his son and heir; but in Michaelmas term in the said year, William Berney and Elizabeth his wife, convey to Edmund White, Robert Holditche, Thomas Godsalve, &c. 200 acres of land, 19 of meadow, 50 of pasture, 30 of marsh, and 33s. rent here, in Clippesby, Owly, Ashby, &c. and in the said year and term.
Thomas Snytterton and Anne his wife, Robert Pylche and Elizabeth his wife conveyed as cousins and heirs of Elizabeth Martham, one of the daughters and heirs, of Robert Martham, the manor of Byllockly, 10 messuages, 200 acres of land, 20 of meadow, 100 of pasture, 20 of wood, 40 of heath, 40 of furse, 100 of marsh, 4l. rent, and the rent of 34 quarters of barley in this town, &c. with the advowson of this church, to Thomas Godsalve, &c. and in the 32d of the said king, in Hillary term, Franc. Noone Esq. and Anne his wife, granted it with the advowson to Henry Hobart Esq.
The abbot of St. Bennet had also a fee at the survey and before, one carucate of land, and one in demean, with five acres of meadow, and six freemen of the abbot held in commendation only 44 acres, and 7 of meadow, with two borderers, valued at 18s. and what the freemen held was valued at 16d. at the survey at 2s. (fn. 4)
On the exchange of the lands of this abbey, and those of the see, between Henry VIII. and Bishop Rugg, this was granted to the see of Norwich, and so was united to the other abovementioned lordship, and so continues.
Roger Bigot, ancestor to the Earls of Norfolk, had a small tenure at the survey held by a freeman of Alwi, in King Edward's reign, under commendation, 20 acres of land, two of meadow, with a borderer, and half a carucate, valued at 20d. (fn. 5)
In the chancel window were these arms, gules on a bend, argent three trefoils vert, Harvey, impaling azure, a fess, dauncy, between six escallops, argent, Dengayn; Jenney; Harvey impaling, argent, a bend ragule vert, between six martlets, sable.
Reginald de Eccles and Agnes his wife, held half a fee of the Bishop, which Ralph Holbeck formerly held: he made his will in 1380, and was proved July 7, 1381, Agnes his wife, and Sir Roger de Boys, executors, to be buried in the north side of the chancel of this church, gives legacies to John de Eccles his son, and to Thomas, son of John de Martham (fn. 6)
John de Eccles, by will, dated 1383, bequeaths the reversion of this manor, to be sold, and all above 100l. of the price to be expended in the repair of the church and chancel, and mending the causeways of Weybridge and Bastwick, and putting girls apprentice, Robert de Martham his executor, proved in 1384.