An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 11. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1810.
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This town was granted by the Conqueror, to Robert Mallet, one of his principal barons, lord of the honour of Eye in Suffolk, and at the survey was held of that honour by Rodbert. Edric was deprived of it.
It consisted of 3 carucates of land, 14 villains, 3 borderers and 4 servi in the time of the Confessor, with 3 carucates in demean, 5 among the tenants, and 14 acres of meadow, paunage for 60 swine, 2 runci, one cow, &c. 180 sheep, and 16 goats. Twenty-eight socmen had 178 acres, and there were 10 carucates; 14 freemen also, and the moiety of another, possessed 2 carucates of land, and 33 acres; and 11 borderers had 10 carucates and an half, with 5 acres of meadow, valued at 110s. and what the free-men held at 40s.; it was one leuca long, and one broad, and paid 15d. gelt. (fn. 1)
The ancient family of De Glanvile was soon after the Conquest enfeoffed by the Lord Mallet, of this valuable lordship. William de Glanville, son of Robert, held it in the reign of Henry I. from whom descended William de Glanvile, lord in the reign of Richard I. who dying sans issue. Jeffrey his brother succeeded him, and was lord of this town, Dallinghow, and Alderton in Suffolk, and left his inheritance at his death in the beginning of King Henry the Third's reign, to his five sisters and coheirs, among whom this lordship was divided, viz. —Agnes, the wife of Baldwin, a Norman;—Emma, to John de Grey; —Basilia, the third sister, married and left a daughter and heir, Isabel, who was the wife of William de Boyvill;—Elizabeth, was the wife of Almary Peche, and Juliana, the 5th, died s. p.
Earl of Cornwall's Manor.
On, or before the death of Baldwin, the Norman, King Henry III. seized on his part, and gave it to his brother Richard Earl of Cornwall. Edmund, his son, inherited it in the 15th of Edward I. had wreck at sea, assise of bread and beer, frank pledge, free-warren, weyf, &c. and a gallows; on his death Ao. 28 of Edward I. it was extended at 12l. 19s. 7¾d. and was enjoyed by Margaret, his widow, on whose decease it came to the Crown, and was granted in the 6th of Edward II. to the priory here, as will after appear.
John de Grey, by Emma his wife, had a daughter and heir, Emma, who brought this part by marriage to William de Huntingfield, who was probably son of Roger de Huntingfeld, (who was living in the 30th of Henry II.) by Sibill de Harleton of Cambridgeshire, his wife.
In the 15th of King John, William de Huntingfield was sheriff of Norfolk, and Suffolk, and an accountant with Alberic de Vere Earl of Oxford, Robert Fitz Roger, Ralph Wolf, Eustace de Basingham, &c. for the customs of Norfolk and Suffolk.
Sir Roger de Huntingfield was lord in 1271, and had a chapel in his manor house, which the prior and convent of Bromholm had granted him leave to erect, and on that grant, covenants, that every chaplain who should officiate therein, should take an oath to pay all oblations, &c. to the vicar, take no confession of any of the parish, and that on every holiday the vicar might send to the chapel and receive all oblations, &c. that there should be but one bell in the chapel for the sacrament, and for default of this the chapel might be suspended. To witness this there was the seal of the consistory of Norwich, with that of the dean of Waxtenham, &c. dated at Bromholm, 18 Kal. of May,
It being represented to King Henry III. in his 39th year, that Roger de Huntingfield had sent to his assistance in Gascoign, And. de Gayzi, his knight, who had performed laudable service, the sheriff of Suffolk had an order that the demand of 60 marks due from him to the King should be excused.
William, son and heir of Roger, son of William, died in the 7th of Edward II. and in the 13th of that King, Walter de Norwich, a Baron of the Exchequer, owed 18l. for the farm of the custody of the third part of the manor of Huntingfield, in Suffolk, late William de Huntingfield's, which Sibitla his widow held in dower, after whose death it was in the King's hands by the minority of Roger, his son and heir.
In the 3d of Edward III. Roger de Huntingfield and Alianore his wife, were found to hold of Queen Isabel, as of the honour of Eye, half a fee in Baketon, and Roger was their son and heir, as appears by the escheat rolls; and in the 17th of that King, Richard de Keleshull conveyed by fine to Thomas de Sywardeby and Elizabeth his wife, the moiety of 13 messuages, 120 acres of land, 6 of meadow, 15 of pasture, 6 of moor, 6 of marsh, 15 of heath, with 4l. rent in Bacton, Bromholm, Paston, &c. the manor of Harleton in Cambridgeshire, to be enjoyed after the death of Alianore, widow of Roger de Huntingfield, by Richurd for life, remainder to Thomas, and Elizabeth, and their heirs; Elizabeth probably was sister and heir of Roger, and Sir Thomas de Sywardeby was her husband, but in the 20th of Edward III. she was the wife of Richard Frances of Winepol in Cambridgeshire, as appears by a like fine, and Richard de Keleshull was then husband of Alianore.
In the 39th of the said reign, John de Norwich, citizen and draper of London and Alianore his wife, conveyed the moiety of Huntingfield Hall, in Bacton, to John de Somerton, which Sir Richard de Keleshull held for life; after this in the 48th year, Agnes Atteforth, Thomas de Hakeforth, and Emma his wife, John Browning and Joan his wife, John Swan and Agnes his wife, conveyed it to John de Picshale, &c. which John de Somerton held for life, by the tenth part of a fee.
In the 3d of Henry IV. William Sywardeby was lord, and in the 36th of Henry VI. Elizabeth, late wife of William, son of William de Sywardeby of Sywardeby in Yorkshire, released to Agnes Paston, and John Paston, Esq. her son, the manor of Huntingfield hall, and all the lands late Roger de Huntingfield's, and William her husband's, here in Witton, &c. and in the said year, Jeff. Pigot and Margaret his wife, daughter and coheir of William Sywardeby, conveyed to them their right.
Basilia, the third daughter and coheir, left a daughter and heir Isabel, who brought her interest herein, to William de Boyvill, who with his wife Isabel, presented to the church of Alderton in Suffolk, in the reign of Edward I.
In the 34th of Edward III. Thomas de Wingfeld and Margaret his wife, conveyed the manor of Latimer's Hall, to William Attefen, and Peter his son, with the homages and services of divers persons, and in the 6th of Henry VI. Thomas Attefen conveyed it to William Paston, Esq. Peter Savage and Christiana his wife, widow of Hugh Attefen, then holding it for life.
In the 24th of Edward I. Edmund Earl of Cornwall, granted to Mr. John de Walcot, the wardship of William de Leach, heir of Richard Leache, which belonged to him, on account of the custody of Thomas, son and heir of Sir Edmund Peche, Knt. and of Richard Leche his brother, if William died under age.
In the 9th of Edward I. Simon Peche and Julian his wife granted lands here by fine to Clement, son of Edmund de Paston, and other lands to Laurence, son of Ralph de Repps, and in the 5th of Edward III. William de Repps had an interest, or lordship here, and in the 30th of Edward I. William Peche and Rose his wife and John their son were found to be jointly seized of a manor in Bakton of the grant of Julian Peche, held of the honour of Eye, by the service of 6d. at the end of every 32 weeks, and valued at 7l. 12s. 8d. per ann. this came to the Pastons, by the marriage of Cecily, daughter and heir of Sir Simon Peche and Julian his wife, with Walter de Piston, younger son of Edmund, and Clement, son of Walter, by the marriage of Cecily, daughter and heir of William Leach, Esq. brought into the said family, the manor of Leach's in Paston, held of the abbot of Holm, which extended into this town, and the late Earl of Yarmouth died possessed of it.
William Earl Warren had 16 acres, valued at 2s. held by a freeman in the Confessor's reign, and the abbot of St. Bennet had the soc; (fn. 2) this went with his lordship of Paston, and the Bishop of Norwich's manor of Paston extended into it: (fn. 3) William de Bachetuna held it in the time of Bishop Eborard.
The Church of Bacton was a rectory dedicated to St. Andrew, and granted to the prior of Bromholm, by William de Glanvile the founder, who had it appropriated to their house, valued at 25 marks, and a vicarage was appointed: the prior, in the time of Edward I. held 40 acres with the rectory, and the vicar had competent edifices, with one carucate of land, valued at 2 marks, and paid 2 marks per ann. to the prior, and the prior had 2 parts of the wax at the purification of the Blessed Virgin. Peter-pence were 12d. the present valor is 5l. 2s. 11d. ob. and is discharged.
The church is a single pile, covered with lead, and a chancel with reed, with a square tower and one bell; in 1486, I find a legacy to the building of the tower, the arms of Paston on the south-east buttress.