An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 11. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1810.
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From Domesday book we learn that the Conqueror had in Burc, 20 acres of land, which was valued in his lordship of Castre, (fn. 1) and Godric was steward of it for the King, who had also another considerable manor in this town, which Guert was owner of in the reign of King Edward, containing 60 acres of land, 8 of meadow, and one villain, 8 freemen also held under Guert 27 acres of land, and 6 of meadow; and there were two carucates among them, with 2 salt works, valued then at 10s. at the survey at 20s.
This then belonged to the farm or lordship of Causton in Norfolk, but formerly not, being added to it by the Conqueror, and Roger was made the reeve of it. Burgh was 10 furlongs long, and 8 broad, and paid 2s. gelt, with 3 farthings, and many held lands there. (fn. 2)
Several persons farmed this lordship with that of Causton, of the Crown. William de Cheney, sheriff in the reign of Henry II. Robert Fitz-Roger in 1197; but King John in his 3d year, Ao. 1201, granted it to Hubert de Burgh, after Earl of Kent.
This was probably son of Sir Reyner, who was son of Sir William de Burgh, and conveyed lands here and in Almerton, by fine, to John and Robert, sons of Ernald de Burgh, in the reign of King Richard I.
In the 21st of Henry III. is entered the marriage agreement between Richard de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, (fn. 3) and Margaret, daughter of Hubert de Burgo, and Margaret his wife, daughter of the King of Scots.
In the 31st of that King, Margaret, widow of Hubert de Burgh, released all her right, or the 3d part of this manor, with those of Causton and Newton, and many others, to John de Burgh her son-inlaw; who granted for her life in dowry, the lordship of Porteslade, and advowson of the vicarage, those of Aldrington, and the patronage of the rectory, Westhall and Sutherton in Sussex, and Chilton manor, &c. in Somersetshire.
In the 3d of Edward I. William de Burgh claimed free warren, and a free fishery from Burgh bridge to Stokesby Flech, which used to be common, but now is several; and in the 15th a free market weekly on Monday, in his manor; and a fair yearly, on the vigil, the day of St. Margaret, and for 6 days following, as a grant to him from King Henry III.
Burgh Hall, St. Margaret's.
Roger Bigot, ancestor to the Earls of Norfolk, had a grant of 30 acres of land which Ulketel a freeman held under the protection of Edric, in the Confessor's reign; and of 45 acres and 3 of meadow, with a carucate which 3 freemen held under the protectin of Alwi, valued then at 3s. at the survey at six. (fn. 4)
Roger had also 6 acres of land that a freeman held under Alwy's protection, which Stanhard then held of Roger, with 12 acres of meadow, one villain, 8 borderers, and a carucate in demean, half a carucate among the tenants, and under these were 17 freemen, with 89 acres of land, 12 of meadow, and 3 carucates, valued at 20s.
In the 33d of Edward I. Sir Alexander de Clavering and Joan his wife, was lord, and then granted by fine to Walter de Filby, lands here and in Filby, and were living in the 2d of Edward II. he was brother of Sir John de Clavering, lord of Horsford.
After this it came to Sir Richard Fiennes, Lord Dacres, and Joan his widow died seised of it in the 3d of Henry VII. Thomas Lord Dacre, and Anne his wife, conveyed it in the 21st of that King, to Sir William Capel, Knt. of London.
Stalham Hall, And Vaux Hall.
In the 20th of Henry III. William de Vaux held half a fee of the heirs of William de Stalham, and Henry Rose and his parceners half a fee of William de Rokeley, belonging to the fee of Roger Bigot, Earl Marshal.
That which Stalham held, came, as I take it by marriage, to the Wythes; and Sir Jeffrey Wythe presented to the church of Burgh St. Mary, in 1317. In the 20th of Edward III. Dionysia Clere was found to hold half a fee, late William de Statham's.
In the 16th of that King, Robert Eustace and Alice his wife, had 40s. rent issuing out of Burgh St. Mary, given to them by Hellen, late wife of Henry Rose; which they then recovered of Robert Clere, and Henry de Stow, which William de Rokely formerly held.
John de Filby, parson of Winterton, and Walter de Filby of Great Yarmouth, as trustees, convey and settle the said manor, and the advowson, on Robert Clere, and Alice his wife, daughter and heir of Sir John Filby, for life, remainder in tail to Robert their son.
In the 27th of the said King, Robert Clere of Ormesby purchased of William, son of John Sparwe of Norwich, Burgh, Vaux-hall, which William Clere of Ormesby was lord of Stalham-hall, and Vaux-hall, Burgh St. Mary, in the 40th of Edward III.
In the same family it remained in 1609, when Sir Edward Clere presented to the church of Burgh St. Mary. Sir Henry Clere his son was created a baronet in 1620; and left an only daughter and heiress, Abigail, who married John Cromwell, Esq. of London, who being lord in her right, presented to this church in 1663, by the name of John Cromwell, alias Williams, Esq.
William Beaufoe Bishop of Thetford, held as a lay fee, by the gift of the Conqueror, 50 acres of land, of which two freemen were deprived, valued at 10s. (fn. 5)—On his death he gave this to this see and successours, This remained in the see of Norwich at the exchange between King Henry VIII. and the Bishop of Norwich.
The abbot of St. Bennet had a lordship here and in Billockby, (fn. 6) as may be there seen, also in Burgh, 30 acres of land, and 4 of meadow, at the survey, with three borderers, and a carucate in demean, valued at 3s.
In this town were two churches, St. Margaret's and St. Mary's. That of St. Margaret was a rectory anciently, valued at 13 marks, and paid Peter-pence 18d. q. There was an agreement made betweeen the rectors or this church and Askely, that they should each have a moiety of the tithes of Long Halsham, sans date. (fn. 7)
Thomas Wymer rector, gave 5 acres of land to the relief of the poor owners, towards the king's tax in 1505, and Robert Cannard, rector, gave lands to the poor of this town, Fransham, Shipdam and Scarning. (fn. 8)