An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 11. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1810.
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The capital lordship of this village was at the survey in Ralph de Beaufoe, and was held by a socman of St. Bennet's abbey in King Edward's time; there belonged to it a carucate of land, 12 villains, 8 borderers, with 2 carucates and an half, and 6 acres of meadow, &c. and 3 socmen had 16 acres, &c. valued at 40s. and was 6 furlongs long and 5 broad, paid 4d. ob. gelt, and a church with one acre valued at 2d. belonged to it. (fn. 1) From the Beaufoes, it after came to the Marshals, and Lord Morley.
The abbot of St Bennet's had also at the survey, one socman, with 16 acres, valued at 16d.
The ancient family of Le Gross, of whom an account at large may be seen in Crostwick, was enfeoffed of this manor. Sir Reginald le Gross was lord and patron in the time of King Stephen, and held of the descendants of de Beaufoe, harons of Rye.
One of the same name was living in 1247, and in 1289, and in 1313, the lordship, &c. was settled for life on Sir Reginald, remainder on Oliver his son.
In the 35th of Edward III. Alianore, late wife of Oliver le Gross, was found to have held it, and John was her son, and being a knight, presented to this church in 1375, and 1383
Oliver le Gross, Esq. presented in 1432, and by his will, dated July 1, 1439, proved 16th of March following, (fn. 2) requires to be buried in the chapel of St. James in this church; appoints William Yelverton, the King's justice of his bench, John Groos, &c. his executors; to the said John he gives the manor of Irsted, and to Rowland his 2d son, this of Sloley, and 10l. to the repair of Sloley church.
John Gross, Esq. son of Oliver, presented to this church in 1440.
Robert Ashfield, son of John Ashfield, and Amicia his wife, daughter and heir of Symon Gross, first son of Oliver, and his wife, convey their right herein to Edward Jenney, in the 18th of Edward IV. and at this time there seems to be a moiety of this manor in the Asbfields.
In 1522, Sir Edmund Jenney died seised of it, leaving it to Francis his grandson and heir, which Francis and Margaret his wife, convey a moiety of the manor of Sloley, 5 messuages, a watermill, 300 acres of land, 12 of meadow 40 of pasture, 5 of wood, 100 of heath, 50 of marsh, and 100s rent here, and in other towns, to John Gross, who in the first of Edward VI. with Elizabeth his wife, sold it to Miles Gross with the advowson.
In the Grosses it continued (as in Crostwick) till conveyed to the Walpoles Earls of Orford, where it remains.
Rainald, son of Ivo, had a small fee held of him by Roger, 20 acres which Scheit held in the demeans of Scothow at the survey, one villain belonged to it, and it was valued in Scothow. (fn. 3)
I find no farther account of this, and so was united (as I take it) to the Le Gross fee.
The tenths were 5l. The temporalities of Bromholm priory were 12s. and of St. Bennet's abbey 17s. 10d. ob. and for these 13s. 4d. were deducted out of the said tenths.
The Church was dedicated to St. Bartholomew, valued in the reign of Edward I. at 9 marks, and was a rectory. Sir Reginald le Gross was then patron. The rector had a manse and 16 acres. Peter-pence 12d. The present valor is 5l. 6s. 8d. and is discharged.
The church has a nave, and 2 isles covered with lead, and the chancel with reed, and a tower with 3 bells.
John occurs rector 1299.
1324, Reginald le Gross instituted, presented by Oliver le Gros.
1334, William Carman. Ditto.
1360, Thomas de Hemenhale, by the Bishop, a lapse.
1375, Henry de Taterford, by Sir John Groos.
1383, John Costeyn. Ditto.
1395, John Hood, by Sir Miles Stapleton.
1452, Thomas Depham, by Oliver Groos, Esq.
1440, Francis Norwich. Ditto.
1457, William Fuller, by John Groos, Esq.
1486, Robert Glaveyn.
1503, Edward Jenney, by John Groos, Esq.
1511, Mr. Robert Peyne.
1552, Mr. Thomas Duke.
1557, Roger Overy, by Miles Groos, Gent.
1558, Richard Lusher, A.M. Ditto.
1559, Robert Certeon, by Thomas Groos, Esq.
1560, Edward Rust. Ditto.
In 1603, he returned 55 communicants.
1610, Robert Thexton, by Thomas Gryme Esq.
1625, Edmund Simonds, by Sir Charles le Groos.
1628, Samuel Dyke. Ditto.
John Rotand, rector.
1661, Valentine Husband, by Thomas Groos, Esq.
1662, Edmund Wharton. Ditto.
1679, John Ombler, by Charles Harman le Groos, Esq.
1693, John Rolfe. Ditto.
1712, Noah Vialis, rector. Ditto.
1720, Mundeford Spelman. Ditto.
1736, John Wakeman, by Robert Lord Walpole.
1753, Thomas Bateman, by Margaret Countess of Orford.
1754, James Adamson, by John Sharp, hac vice.
In the church was the chapel of St. James.—John Trew, priest, buried in the church, gave a mass book with silver clasps, a peyr of chalices of silver and gilt, with a vestment of black velvet, in 1524. Robert Glavine rector, died 1503, and has a gravestone in the chancel.