An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 11. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1810.
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Ralph Lord Bainard had a grant of this lordship; and at the survey, Geffrey (Baynard) held it under Ralph; 12 freemen in King Edward's time had 150 acres of land, and there were 12 borderers, with 16 acres of meadow, and 3 carucates and an half, valued at 27s. at the survey at 22s. 4d. the whole was one leuca long, 7 furlongs broad, and paid 10d. gelt. St. Bennet's abbey had the commendation of a moiety of one of these, and the soc of them all. (fn. 1)
Several persons appear to have had interests herein: in the reign of King Henry III. Fulco Baynard had a part of it, held of Robert Fitz-Walter of the barony of Baynard. (fn. 2)
In the 32d of Edward I. Ralph, son of Sir John de Shegeton, a minor, possessed it under Sir Fulk Baynard, who granted his wardship, and marriage to John Fastolf of Yarmouth, who sold it to Sir Thomas Bavent; and in the 9th of Edward II. William de Kerdeston, Peter Roscelyne, and the heirs of Edward Burrell, John de Gymingham, &c. were lords, and William Gambon and Cecilia his wife had the rent of 13s. 4d. Richard was his son and heir, in the 17th of Richard II.
Roger de Boys, Henry Batele, and Henry de Lesingham, held half a fee of the barony of Baynard, in the 3d of Henry IV. and John Aslak, by his will, in 1434, desires to be buried by the altar of the Blessed Virgin in this church, and that Annora should have his manor of Costyns in this town, and the advowson of the church, and his executors to sell the reversion. (fn. 3) Annora was his 2d wife, and relict of Henry Lesingham.
After this it was possessed by John Bishop, of Norwich, Gent, who by his will in 1497, requires to be buried in St. Michael Coslany's church of Norwich, and William his son died lord in 1545, of Coston's manor, and patron, and was buried at Marsham; he gives it for life to Margaret his wife, and appoints his brother-in-law, Edmund Lomner, supervisor.
Sir Edmund Jenney, by his will in 1522, bequeaths the whole manor of Crostweyt to my Lady Payghton, widue, late wyff unto Sir Edmund Payghton, for certain years, &c. (fn. 4)
Sir Edmund married Catherine, daughter and heir of Robert Bois, son of Sir Roger, and brought this manor to him, which was in the Bois's, &c. as above; and in the 38th of Henry VIII. John Gross, Esq. and Miles Gross, Gent. purchased it of Franc. Jenney, Esq. and Margaret his wife, with the moiety of Sloley manor; and Miles Gross of this town, by his will dated August 13, 1558, makes Thomas Gross his nephew, son of Thomas his brother, executor and heir to it, which John Gross, Esq. and Elizabeth his wife had conveyed to the said Miles, by the name of Crostweyt, or Lefingham's manor, in the 1st of Edward VI. and in this family it continued till sold by Charles le Groos, Esq. about 1720, to Robert Walpole, Esq.
The Grosses are a very ancient family, and were settled at Sloley, near Crostwick, many centuries past; John Gross, and Miles abovementioned, were the first that I find to have any interest in both these lordships, and to possess the whole town, where they seem to have settled about that time, and their posterity had an agreeable old seat, called Crostwick-Hall: I shall therefore make choice of this place to give some account of this family from ancient records and vouchers.
Sir Reginald le Gross was living in the time of King Stephen, and patron of Sloley, and had lands at Statham; his wife's name was Petronella; one of the same name was living in the 12th of Henry III. and Sir Reginald le Gross, had a patent for a mercate at Worsted in the 37th of the said King. (fn. 5)
(g) In the 46th of Edward III. this manor was settled on Sir John le Gross for life, and on John, Oliver, and William, his sons, in tail, by Sir John de Reymes his trustee, and in 1384, William Clere of Ormesby, gave legacies to John and Oliver le Gross, sons of Sir John: Regist. Harsike, fol. 36.
(i) William Wayte of Titleshale, Gent. and Thomas Gryne, of Norwich, Gent. were arbitrators between John Ashfield, and Rowland Gross, and John Gross in the 1st of Edward IV. on account of this manor, which Ashfield claimed in behalf of Amy his wife, cousin and heir of Sir John Gross, by virtue of a gift made by Sir John Rheymes, Knt. &c. to Sir John Gross, and it was adjudged to the heirs male, so that the aforesaid John Gross inherited it, and John his son, though some pedigrees say Robert was his son, and died seised of Irstede, and this manor and John, who married Ann, daughter of Robert Herward, was his son and heir, in the 7th of Henry VII.
(k) John le Gross, Esq. and Miles his brother, were living in the 38th of Henry VIII. and Miles dying s. p. made Thomas Groos, his nephew, son of John, his heir in 1558; John had by Elizabeth his wife, six daughters—Amy, married to Henry Valenger of Lynn, Gent. —Elizabeth, to— Drake of Litcham; — Mary, to Walter Hall of Norwich;—Thomasine, to Mr. Jonnes of Lynn;—Anne. to Thomas Quarles of Norwich, and Bridget, to Thomas Read of Ringstead.
Sir Charles, his son, had several daughters; — Muriel, married to Ralph Ward, of Horsted,—Bridget, to — Harman;—Frances, to Nicholas Barwell of Greys Inn;—Elizabeth, to — Penelope; and Catherine, married to Richard Harman of Wood-Dalling in Norfolk; her brothers, Thomas and Charles le Gross, dying without issue, Thomas, left the estate of Crostwayt, to Thomas Harman, second son of Richard, by Catherine his sister, and Thomas dying unmarried it came to Charles Harman his brother, eldest son of Richard and Catherine aforesaid; he took the name of Le Groos, and married Elizabeth, daughter of William Turner of North Elmham, attorney at law, and sister of Sir Charles Turner, Bart. of Warham, and sold this estate to Robert Walpole, Esq. of Houghton (afterwards Earl of Orford) about the year 1720, whose grandson, the Right Honourable Earl of Orford, is the present lord.
This Charles Harman le Groos, left two daughters and coheirs; —, married to Thomas Weston, Esq. of Abington Magna, in Cambridgeshire; and Anne, to John Spilman, Esq. of Narburgh in Norfolk, and dying October 14, 1736, was buried in the church of Narburgh, as his widow, Elizabeth, was in 17 - -.
The family of Herman lived at Rendlesham in Suffolk, bore azure, a chevron between three couple of rams counter passant, or tripping argent, quartering in the 2d argent, a chevron, gules, between three leopards heads, or faces, sable, in a bordure engrailed, azure, Newport —in the 3d, or, on three chevrons, gules, nine lis, argent, Fitz Ralph: and in the 4th, sable, three martlets, argent, Naunton;—crest, a demy woodman.
The Church of Crostweyt is dedicated to All-Saints, and is a rectory; it appears by a fine levied in the 20th of Henry III. that the advowson was appendant to the manor of Walcote, and then belonged to Lecia de Eggefend, widow of William Rosceline, and was excepted in her grant of Walcote manor, to Roger de Turkelby for life.